When I see Stockholm on Sunday night she’s so beautiful I feel a little saddened.
‘God,’ I say, brushing her hair from her ear so I can kiss her and whisper, ‘you’re gorgeous.’
She smiles and lowers her eyes in a way that I don’t think is possible for American women to do. It’s so adorable, it makes my eyes hurt.
Dinner is Middle Eastern; we share fool, dolmas, lamb kabobs, and some spinach pies. She tells me she saw the trailer for the upcoming Capote and can’t imagine sitting through two hours of that grating voice.
‘I’m going to have to see it,’ I say, dutifully. ‘In 1999 I was at the Delano
carrying on and said that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s so brilliant I could watch him sitting around huffing spray paint. I have no idea who was in the crowd, but when Love Liza came out three years later, I felt personally responsible.’
This story is true, technically, and I tell it as a real confession. The look in her eyes lets me know she gets it.
‘Well, what are you going to do?’ she says, shrugging and taking a sip of her Tucher Weiss, ‘But those are your demons, not mine, so don’t expect me to go with you.’
‘Fair enough,’ I say, popping a Makdous in my mouth.
When we get back to my house, I’m sitting on the bed with her standing in front of me and we’re kissing. I’m using my thumb to trace the outline of her costochondral margin. I begin to unbutton her shirt. She takes my hand and stops me. I’m a bit confused by this.
‘I can’t stay the night, I’m volunteering at the woman’s shelter early tomorrow,’ she says.
‘Oh,’ I say, ‘do you have to leave right now?’
She sighs in a way that I fear is going to lead to a big conversation and am relieved when she says, ‘Well, and there’s an issue with a bit of blood. Not much, but it’s there.’
‘I’m a doctor,’ I say, kissing her neck, ‘I’m not bothered by a little blood.’