It's midafternoon, and we are sitting on the screened in porch of the house I am renting. Two Coronas sweating on a wicker table and Ghost in the Machine in the CD player.

We're just talking, circling around the sensitive topics-- keeping things light. But the glances become steady gazes and when fingertips touch on the back of the porch swing there is a little spark, and then fingers come together.

When she hears the phone she jumps a little and moves her hand away. She leans toward the end of the swing, expecting me to jump up. When I don't she looks at the floor and tries not to grin as the rings continue (the machine is off). Her restraint is so genuine; guileless.

"I'm not getting that," I say.

I noticed...thanks..

Her words trail away as she swipes the hair off the side of her face with the back of her hand. Now, she looks at me squarely as she slides over to my territory.

Where were we?

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