It is midmorning, a Saturday and I am standing by the only window in our den. I am looking out the window at the icy sidewalk below. Old folks in heavy coats and hats, bundled against the cold. Young kids, in sweatershirts and shorts, flaunting their invincibility.

Our apartment smells like freshly ground coffee and the citrus scented shampoo Ann uses. She is padding around the kitchen with her hair still wet and the scent trails behind her. Claude Bolling is on the stereo and the only other sound in the room is the spitting of our old drip machine.

I turn to say something to Ann, but she puts her index finger to her lips and I stop. She is using that imaginary language that we share. The one lovers use to tell each other things without speaking out loud. It is this:

shh, not now, let's save words for later. Let's just drink in this sunlight and the quiet

I purse my lips and smile with a small nod of my head.

Outside the traffic is picking up and soon the honking of trucks and several boom boxes will drown out our solitude. Until then, we can sit on the couch and pretend the piano music we hear is the only sound on earth. We are eyes closed, shoulders together. There are worse fantasies.

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