You never married, I say to Rémi, half-statement, half-question.

He squints his left eye, looks at his hand; there is no wedding band on my finger, is there, he says, half-statement, half-question, and laughs remorsefully.

No, I was married, once, he says, after a sip from his glass and a pregnant interregnum during which blades slice at our skin, his as well as mine, the territory into which we have ventured clearly having sullied the evening, this evening, our third evening out.

And that, he says, is all I have to say about that, and we drink for another hour or so, only vague words traded back and forth, before we part toward our respective homes, my throat still half-closed, half-open, from the unpleasant taste of the silence.