I spoke to him on the stairway. He said something about his wife.
Third researcher I had tried to talk to that week
who worked his wife into the conversation around the third sentence.
Do they associate me with their wives since I'm not a researcher?
Or, do they think I am thinking about sex (in that atmosphere?)
and want me to know that they have that taken care of?
Maybe like me they just can't think of much to say.

"What does your wife do?" I asked.
With any luck, we would get around to kids.
It is something I can talk about.

Sure enough, he did have kids.
I told him my son had been into visit on Friday.
"What did he think?" he asked.

I did not repeat what my son, studying German history,
had said as we sat outdoors
eating lunch, looking down on IBM,
Varian, Hewlett Packard and the Wall Street Journal.

"He thought it was interesting," I said.

         forward         anywhere         lines