Monday, January 25, 2010

"You said I was the finest man you ever knew. Probably am. Most of humanity isn't all that goddamned fine to begin with. I am flawed. You are flawed. But we are not flawed beyond the allowable limit. And our affection for each other is not flawed at all."

She had stopped looking at the distance and was looking, for the first time, at me.

"And every day I have loved you," I said, "has been a privilege."

She kept looking at me and then soundlessly and without warning she turned from the bridge railing and pressed her face against my chest. She didn't make a sound. Her hands hung by her side. I put my arms around her carefully. She didn't move. We stood that way for a time as the pedestrians on the bridge moved spectrally past us. After a while, Susan put her arms around my waist and tightened them. And we stood that way for a time. Finally she spoke into my chest, her voice muffled.

"Thank you," she said.

"You're welcome."

And we stood some more and didn't say anything else.
Robert B. Parker, Sudden Mischief