Author(s): David Brooks
"She came about five minutes later and sat at a table opposite him and closer to the wall, her back to the sea. Slim, not particularly tall, auburn hair, close-cropped, rather more studious than beautiful. Strong-featured. Or was it sharp-featured? A blend. In black jeans, a black jacket. Silver bracelet on a slender wrist." A young woman and an older man meet by accident - a gust of wind - at a restaurant in Trieste and find themselves dining together. They embark upon a conversation of the kind that can perhaps only happen between total strangers - risky, philosophical, full of the most intimate stories and confessions. She has questions. He finds, as the wine flows, delicious dishes come and go, and the velvet night deepens, that he doesn't have as many answers as he might have thought he had.