Conversations Resumed

Street art, rue d'Odessa, Paris

Calling a bluff I did not make, she continues to provoke. “Do you talk to your son about your sexual exploits?”

I don’t flinch. “He talks to me about his …” They are his attempts at male bonding. Claims to manhood. He has made jokes about his need for the paternal role model. I fight my discomfort. I sanitize. He is trying to imitate a benevolent rogue.

“My father was a character, not in the good sense and …” He over-shared. Proud of things most people try to hide.

“My father thinks I’m still a virgin.” I wonder what she is reading into my ellipses. I laugh with her and let the conversation lapse into polite silence.


“Maybe the closest aliens are too far away.” We are spending the day together. Our on and off discussion of the Fermi Paradox, like commercial breaks, filling the gaps between activities. “And we can only see their worlds before they’ve evolved.”

The face of the guy sitting at the table next to ours changes from bored to thoughtful. Waiting for his food to arrive, he is borrowing our conversation to pass the time.

The difference with 3 AM drunken conversations is that we are lucid enough not take our musings seriously.


I find the video to a song I had mentioned. I click on share.