We spent all day with big books and highlighters, in various coffee establishments.  “You’re filling up that entire page,” she said.  But it was hard, everything seemed very important.  “I think you  just like how that looks.”


“The highlighter ink.”

And it’s true, I did go through a lot of highlighters.  “I don’t know,” I said.  “It all seems important.” The cases were of course abridged, with lots of unimportant things left out.

“But how can that help you?” she asked.  I didn’t know and had lost my place on the page.

At some later point we were walking across the Wacker Bridge and it was very cold.  The wind in the flags made a sound like ignited logs crackling and she was doing her best to walk faster than me.  My nose and mouth were numb; I wasn’t yet used to it.  At the next intersection she nearly walked straight into traffic but I was close enough to hold her back.

Earlier than that she told me I’d ruined it.  That was either before or after she went down under the table to make phone calls.  Earlier than that she tried on coats for an hour, but I didn’t get bored.