"Standing there, half-turned towards that enormous view of the river, I refused to play her game, although I was willing to return and play my own."

(Shy glances divided between MIT (her alma mater) and her marble mantlepiece may have playfully veiled my decision to use sex with a Jeep-owner to get a ride to the futon store and back home with a futon one morning later in the week—otherwise obscurity in this "game" reference, for the editor. And the view I'd always coveted.)

"The satisfaction of making me squeeze the tears from her heart was one I didn't wish to give her—there was no question of my giving it to her. In fact I forgot about the incident until it was all over and I knew she was crazy."

(Oh I see now.)

"Then I remembered, and realized how prolonged our sinking might have been had I not ignored that strange command. But of course with lips like hers she never really stood a chance with me anyway."

Hard lips, older women harder lips. My own by now must be harder—quizzical pursing, the handy tooth gauge a pressure like fingers on udders—although in four years no more worn.

Go to Soho soon buy lip softener at Sephora.