The man startled me at first, because I was standing in the middle of a cemetery and I didn’t see or hear a car. But the dead never bother me when I come to this particular hill for sunset pictures — and Alan didn’t bother me, either.
He stood silently just a little above me on the hill as I shot pictures of the sunset. I rarely see people there this late in the day, although it’s happened before. Most people seem to leave long before the sun starts sinking toward the horizon. Most don’t seem fond of cemeteries at night.
But Alan stood there watching quietly, seemingly absorbed in his own thoughts.
After I took a few more pictures, I looked over my shoulder and greeted him. It seemed uncomfortable to be so close in such an unusual place without at least acknowledging the presence of a living person.
We introduced ourselves and remarked idly about the beautiful sunset we were watching. Then he mentioned having been in the same spot this morning at sunrise — and I couldn’t help but ask more.
Alan’s wife died about a month ago. Her body is buried just down the hill from where we stood.