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Sleeping Dogs II
and, sure, it got lonely, but she travelled, she went to lectures, she did...lots of things, she was reading the Iliad for the first time, trying to keep all those names straight, but what fun we all had, the French know how to live, there on the island, together on the deck at night, drinking gallons of white wine, eating pounds of pate, the sky so clear, not like New York, the stars so near and bright-with the sound of the waves breaking in the dark and do you remember the night we saw the satellite, a speck of light laboring across the starry sky, just us two, and everyone thought we were crazy and sat up and said 'where? ' and eventually they saw it, too, and, hey, do you remember how old Monsieur Riviere, who owned La Banane, and had such bad emphysema he could barely stand up without his oxygen tank, would lip-synch 'New York, New York into a soup strainer, pretending it was a microphone, at the end of each show, under the spotlight of a hundred flashlights, gradually turning blue? That was bad, clean fun she chuckled, laughing at her own joke, and suddenly stopping and beginning again.
Yes, it's important to be nice, and to live for others, she reflected, slowly, bitterly, as if fun were somehow the outcome of niceness, and but everybody loved Sid, because he was a perfect gentleman, and he had that certain something, such a good father and husband, he was, so thoughtful, and how he loved YOU, and looked forward to you coming, you little devil, he thought you were so smart, even though we hardly saw you the rest of the year, and things were never the same after he died- of what? - an unknown primary the doctor said, an unknown primary, but it was that pneumonia he got on the plane that killed him, you know, it killed him, and they never found the primary. Such a good man. The whole county flew the flag at half-staff. Seven years now, it's been. Why? Sixty-eight is too young! Such things don't happen, do they? Do they?
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