A Fine Passage: A Novel
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reflex. Goes to the bathroom, comes back, pours the coffee. And so on. A little later, as she dresses, she tries hard not to think of all the work waiting for her, promises herself to take the time to have some fun. But she immediately realizes that she has forgotten how. Dreams a moment of dropping everything and taking off. But she knows it’s not time for that yet, wonders if there will ever be a right time. Worries she wouldn’t recognize it if it did come. Or worse, would recognize it but let
“You’ve experienced some small happiness recently. Perhaps yesterday or the day before. It’s done something to you. I can see it.” It was true that in the light of his room on Telegraph Hill, Hans had discovered the grey-greenish tone of the ice at the foot of the mill in his jigsaw puzzle. The colour had struck him as exactly right and delightful, and he’d succeeded in assembling that entire section. The puzzle is advancing, and that too is a source of joy for Hans. He even hoped to see the
question, Hans imagines first the old lady, then the young girl, then the steep hills of the village. He goes back to those pages of the binder he hasn’t yet examined. “Sometimes he sells one. He has no choice. From time to time, I provide him with some material. You see, he’s a genius.” Terry enters the boulangerie. He’s beginning to feel at home here. They greet him like an old customer. “Baguette and chocolatine for monsieur ?” The large dolled-up woman has already begun to prepare the
the man seemed rather happy. “That’s it. Exactly. Now I understand. I was trying to find how to retain the light. But we don’t have to retain it; it appears all on its own. Yes, that’s it. It makes itself. Like now.” And the man became exceedingly cheerful, talking about one thing and another, until finally: “Have you been to Vent Couvert?” “No, but my dad worked there a spell when I was a boy.” “Did he?” “Not long, mind you. He missed my mum too much.” “She didn’t want to go along?” “No.
said much, she felt she already had a pretty clear picture of his life. Not in the details — and perhaps in the details she would not find him so attractive — but at least she had a general idea. She liked this man. “I haven’t much to say.” “I understand. Nor do I, when it comes down to it, have much to say. The longer it goes, the more I have the feeling that life repeats itself, and the less I have to say about it.” A woman walks by their table followed by a whimpering boy. The woman is