I could not believe she would sit through a movie like that. I myself could hardly sit through it. Necrophilia and homelessness are not the usual ingredients for a slapstick comedy about poor people. “No woman I’ve met before could have sat through that,” I said several times as we walked to the cars. The other two had got some secret satisfaction from the film. It was sustaining their awkward giggles; otherwise they were silent.

“I don’t think that interpretation works,” I told her, then told her why the awful ending could not be redeemed. She was embarrassed of the error but couldn’t admit it; it made her face flush, which then made mine flush as the farthest thing from my mind was to cause her embarrassment. But that was the most embarrassing thing of all. C. stood in the street a few feet away from us. His body twisted one way and his face twisted the other. He had to agree with my interpretation, but it didn’t matter. It was sharp at both ends. I got in my car.

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