To Joe silence is comfort. It always has been. But.
Joe likes listening to Elvis talk.
He used to find comfort in the hushed tones of the forest. Now it is in the vibrance of his voice.
Though Joe mainly considered talking to be unnecessary, he wouldn’t care to admit how he loves hearing the other’s voice more than anything else.
In fact, he’s never missed the way Elvis speaks. Joe knows how dynamic Elvis can be. When he talks in a rush, it almost comes out like a chatter, as if he has so much to say with so little time to do so. Like he won’t have Joe tomorrow, or the next day or even the day after that, which was a silly thought because Joe is there and he always will be for however long Elvis wants.
Sometimes Elvis speaks, not because there’s something urgent to be said but, only because he wants to say something. Because there is a joke to make. For a smile to be shared. Joe is more than fine with that.
Joe knows the tones Elvis uses by heart now. Higher and animated when he’s excited. Later, it is expressed by that very same smile, and it’s one of Joe’s favourite things.
On the other hand, it can be gruff—low and deep when he’s serious, like he’s a whole different person. Joe’s glad Elvis isn’t serious all the time.
When Elvis tells him stories, it can go on for minutes at a time. Sometimes longer, and Joe wonders how anyone could talk so much. Not that he minds. He doesn’t. Even when it seems like he’s bored and disinterested. Even more so when he doesn’t reply often.
Elvis closes his mouth and opens it again. This time his voice is small.
‘So I guess it’s my cue to shut up now, right?’ he half laughs out, thinking that maybe Joe stopped caring ages ago.
He raises his eyebrows at Joe’s reply, ‘Go on.’
‘Continue. I’m listening.’
‘It’s okay Joe.’
‘You were talking about The Doors and Jim Morrison before moving onto the 27 club. Somehow this led onto this restaurant you tried last week and how you want to take me there tonight.’
Elvis smiled, ‘I stand corrected, you were listening.’
‘So what do you say to that last bit?’
And they do just that, Elvis continuing his story and Joe listening.