Tom: There was this girl—woman—young woman. Girl. Her name was Clea.

Huck: You said so. Clea.

Tom: She was beautiful.

Huck: Beautiful.

Tom: Like a swan.

Huck: She was white.

Tom: As a swan.

Huck: And you knew her many years ago.

Tom: Many years ago. She was a Scandinavian princess. She worked at the perfume counter at Goldsmith’s.

Huck: Many years ago.

Tom: Yes.

Huck: You talked to her.

Tom: I approached from a distance. She was like a white light. I was nearly blinded. I nearly turned around. The light led me on.

Huck: But you didn’t. You didn’t.

Tom: I think I turned around.

Huck: But—

Tom: Well, I can’t be sure. She stayed there like a white star, stayed in my head like a white star. I wrote a poem about her.

Huck: Recently?

Tom: No, back then. Back in the time we are talking about.

Huck: But you don’t remember.

Tom: Not everything. But the poem. I have the poem. It has her name on it. I don’t remember writing the poem.

Huck: This was years ago.

Tom: Yes, back and back. Back in the dim ago.

Huck: So, you saw her again.

Tom: Yes. No. I didn’t see her.

Huck: Something—

Tom: Online. It was an online thing.

Huck: You found her.

Tom: Without knowing I was looking.

Huck: The girl—young woman—from the poem? This Clea?

Tom: Yes.

Huck: Did she remember you?

Tom: No.

Huck: Merde.

Tom: Yeah. But it was okay. She didn’t remember me. She was a goddess. I was someone who wrote poems and didn’t know how to dress well.

Huck: Did she remember the poem?

Tom: She never saw the poem.

Huck: Oh. Wow. So—what did you say?

Tom: It’s not what I said. It’s—

Huck: What?

Tom: There’s something about Clea. It transcends the physical fact of Clea.

Huck: I see.

Tom: Well, it’s not that grave. You dropped your voice as if I had just said I have cancer.

Huck: I didn’t—anyway—this Clea, you talked to her and what did she say?

Tom: She didn’t remember me. She gets a lot of attention from men. She’s happily married. All her husband’s friends hit on her.

Huck: This was in one email?

Tom: Over the course of a week.

Huck: How long have you been talking to her?

Tom: A week. Two. But, don’t you see? This. This creates an arc across 30 years of ups and downs, loves and losses. The arc means—what?

Huck: Life works in mysterious ways.

Tom: Something like that.

Huck: But, for you, this means something else. Something about yourself that you are just figuring out.

Tom: Perhaps.

Huck: What is it?

Tom: I don’t know. I can’t change in my fifties.

Huck: That’s a rule?

Tom: No, but. Well. It’s not about that.

Huck: I’m only partly following you, buddy.

Tom: She’s due here any minute.

Huck: Who?

Tom: Clea. She’s coming by. This will be the first time I’ve seen her since the perfume counter at Goldsmith’s.

Huck: Holy shit. Tom. Why am I here?

Tom: You came by.

Huck: I know. But, you just say, get out of here. I’m expecting someone.

Tom: I don’t know. Maybe she won’t come. Why would she come?

Huck: Curiosity? The happy marriage is not as happy as she said? She wants to know what you look like, see if she remembers you?

Tom: Maybe that’s all it is. I’m sure that’s all it is. Curiosity.

Huck: Yet.

Tom: Yet. I. Want. Something.

Huck: Yes.

Tom: Something…inchoate.

Huck: Maybe—you know—since—

Tom: Yes.

Huck: Did you tell her?

Tom: Tell her?

Huck: About the—about your—recent— misfortune.

Tom: I may have.

Huck: Tom, she knows. She knows your wife left you?

Tom: I don’t think so.

Huck. Hm.

Tom: Meaning?

Huck: Well, it’s just. I don’t know. What do I know?

Tom: Say.

Huck: I’m worried you are putting too much into this. Too much—hope.

Tom: That thing with feathers.

Huck: Yes.

Tom: You’re right. You know me.

Huck: Hey, it’s gonna be alright.

Tom: Yes.

Huck: She—

Tom: She won’t come.

Huck: No, I think she’ll come. What—What do you want?

Tom: Continuance.

Huck: Yes.

Tom: The arc.

Huck: You want the arc.

Tom: To mean something. Yes.

Huck: Maybe it does. Maybe we have to get really far back to see it, to see if the arc means anything, has any significance, any meaning. Maybe we have to be God.

Tom: We do. We have to be God.

Huck: To see.

Tom: To feel.

Huck: To see.

Tom: To love.

Huck: Tom.

Tom: It’s gonna be okay, isn’t it?

Huck: Yes. Of course. Yes.

Tom: I want.

Huck: Of course. Yes.

Tom: Damn me, Huck. Damn me. Yes.

Huck: Yes.

Tom: Maybe—

Huck: Tom.

Tom: I know.

Huck: That’s the doorbell.

Tom: I know. It’s nothing. It’s curiosity. It doesn’t have an arc.

Huck: Ok.

Tom: I will open the door. It’s okay. I can open the door. It means so little.

Huck: Yes.

Tom: I am opening the door.