Mark hasn't said a word about Phoenix since last Friday, but he jumps when the phone rings, especially late at night.

Last night, sitting across from me at a narrow table at Clark's, the hamburger stand on El Camino in Mountain View, he said, "She hasn't called again. That's a good sign." The high stools and the table between us wobbled as we ate.

"When I rode the Norton up to see my dad, I met a guy who said that he lost a whole year from a motorcycle accident. He ran into a deer." Mark poured salt onto the greasy paper lining the bottom of the red plastic basket.

We were sharing an order of onion rings, well done. He was dipping his into a small hill of salt.

"The guy was in a coma for a whole year?" I asked, looking at Mark's reflection in the window. Mark's reflection was eating onion rings in big hungry bites.

"Yeah and he was fine when I talked to him. Normal."

I asked him if he would call his ex-wife again, and he said that she'd promised to call him if anything changed.

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