There was a woman. There is always, a woman. A beautiful woman. She was – beauty is a difficult thing. Always. It is exactly as it strikes a man. She will strike you, in an instant, as beautiful. Even … if you cannot explain. She may not be, so pleasing. Or she may be. This woman, resembled so many, women. I cannot explain.
I loved this woman. I do not believe she loved me. Though I did believe, and I did not doubt it then. I was a young man. The life of any man is burning, and then standing over ashes. Stirring and stirring, with his cane. I was still burning.
We walked, evenings. The nights … where the day had been too warm, were the only nights. When the sun went down, and the wind rose, and the moon rose. It was such a luxury, then, moving. Through the town. Across the lawn, the green lawn, of the museum. There were one or two secluded places, even … where we would make love. We could not pass by, without doing so.
On one occasion, such a fine night of walking, and the wind high, and moon, the trees on either side of us moving….
We had been talking. I had been talking, and she had been listening. She listened so attentively, but said nothing. There was a sadness about this woman, that was such a part of her charm. It may have been … what made her, beautiful. I’m uncertain. But – she was never so sad. Or so beautiful. That evening.
I asked her, if there was something. She had not said so, and yet….
She did not answer. But asked me to keep talking. Being in the mood for listening, but not speaking.
I continued, talking. After such a length of time, I cannot remember. But the night, I remember so well. It may have been … the unusual warmth.
I was again talking. I paused, again. In the moonlight, she looked … so melancholy. She looked at the moon, and no longer seemed to be listening.
I asked her again, if there was something.
She shook her head, only. She was still looking.
I wanted so badly, for her to speak. To hear, her. When you are in love, and young, only, it is a pleasure to listen. When you have forgotten abut love, and so grown older, you cannot hear, and will not listen. You will talk a great deal, as before. But you will never again listen.
And so I asked, again. I stopped walking. I took her by the shoulder, and turned her. For I knew, there was something. There is always, something. I found myself … looking for something, turning her, as one would a vase, and looking.
I could see nothing. I could see … her teeth.
I leaned, in.
Then she said, “There is something.”
“I am afraid, there is something.”
I listened. Watching her white teeth moving.
“There is something.”
We were walking home. We approached … the lawn, the dark lawn, of the museum.
We kept walking.