He will tell me later the story of the woman he has been alluding to all day

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because it takes three hours and gives him the blues badso not now, not now, later, he promises, then falls asleepon my couch, shrugging his upper lip like a horse.Open parenthesis. She wore black dresses. They drank a lotof Beaujolais. She had been to Europe several times.Spoke another language, French most likely. Workedfor a firm. Had a way of playing with her earlobeswhen searching for words. They did not touch. He heldopen doors. She had a son. Divorced, divorcing the father.The father was still involved. So you understand, she said.Right right right, he said. They talked about their money.They talked about Gare Saint-Lazare. They talked about herson’s teacher. They talked about maybe. There was a momentin his car when nothing happened. A moment when he thought.Nothing happened. She leaned toward his lips. Rien.She pulled her earlobe. Closed parenthesis. He doesn’t knowwhere he is or what time it is when he wakes up and he has a longdrive and a trustees’ meeting in the morning so not now, not now,next time, he promises, and gets his harmonica and goes.

© Williams Ian