He says it was a brain tumor and that he wanted to learn everything he could about what was happening inside her. A whisper of sadness passes over his face the way a cloud crosses paths with the sun. Not apparent enough to respond to it, but enough to barely feel it, like walking through a strand of silken thread. A squirrel scrambles into his backpack and then emerges. "He's looking for my cashews." We watch this scene with dazed half smiles, seemingly relieved to pause homeward realities. "We tend to think lazy thoughts," he says. "Lazy thinking requires less energy of the brain. It's technically more efficient." A neuroscientist, he tells me. That's what he is.
"Is it a learned behavior? Does the brain make it a habit to think lazily?" I want to know.
Index finger up, eyes wide, shoulders squared. "The brain is hardwired for extremely complex thoughts and emotions. Yes, processing them requires more energy, but it's what we're built for."
I cling to this concept like fading love and the squirrel darts between boulders.
"I hope you find what you're looking for," he says, as if I told him I had lost something. Or maybe he was talking to the squirrel.