Aminta wore pearls in her ears and a ring on her finger, but Martin didn’t care. She was visiting New York and stumbled up the Hudson to Poughkeepsie and the deli where he worked. She sounded out the whole word, delicatessen, as so few did these days. She went back to Greece two weeks later and he only thought of her occasionally, rolling the pearl earring she had left behind between his thumb and forefinger.

When she told him she was pregnant, he wasn’t holding the earring but he wanted to feel it between his palms. Her words echoed down the phone line and he imagined her whispering to him across the ocean, but his thoughts were moving slower than the speed of sound because he could not conjure a single word in response except, I need a drink, but even he had the sense not to say that.

“I only ask for your medical history,” she said. She waited, but he couldn’t think past the bottle of scotch in the liquor cabinet. “This is only a—how do you say—a formality. My husband will be the father.”

He couldn’t feel his fingers. “Is it a boy or a girl?”

“Oh, Martin. It does not matter.”

Martin liked a good drink and the occasional smoke. It wasn’t like he had a problem. But he had never needed a drink as badly as he did that day, and the next morning he smoked half a pack before noon and, still in a haze from the news, called a lawyer he knew. The lawyer said he didn’t have much of a chance of shared custody. He couldn’t take the child to another country, away from its mother, and he didn’t have the money to pack up and move to Europe. His buddies at the bar said the same thing. But she had called him. She didn’t have to do that, but she did it all the same. So he had to try.

At 37, Martin had lived a life without struggle, not because everything came easily to him but because he did not fight for the things that didn’t. Until he boarded a plane and crossed an ocean for a possibility of fatherhood.

In Greece, he made his way to Pylos, the port city she lived near. He had her phone number, hastily scratched down on the back of a receipt after that transatlantic call. Now, here he was, curling the cord around his fingers and pacing as much as he could in his small hotel room while he listened to her phone ring on the other end.

She answered in Greek. “Parakalo.”

“It’s me,” he said.

Aminta paused. “Who is this?”

“It’s Martin.”

Static down the phone line. The window was open, and someone on the street below shouted in Greek. “Please tell me this is an international call,” Aminta said.

He didn’t answer.

Malaka. Martin. What are you doing here? I told you, there is, there is no need for you to come.”

He twisted the cord between his fingers. His hotel room had a rotary phone, which he hadn’t seen since he was a kid. “I just want to see if…”

“Martin, I am sorry, but there is nothing you can do. I should not have told you.”

He wanted to say, “I’m glad you did,” but he didn’t know if it was the truth.

The hotel only had three stars in Lonely Planet, but he thought it deserved four just for the rotary phone. The room was clean and brightly lit, with pale yellow walls and windows with a view of the red-roofed town, tiny and huddled around the bay. It came with hot water all day, twelve channels on the small TV in the corner, laundry services, and a safe in the lobby where he’d stowed his passport.

“I have made my decision,” she said.

“And your husband?” He pulled the phone as far as it would go, just stretching across the small room to the window. “Does he know?”

Ne, he knows.” She paused again and he listened to her breathe down the line. “Go home, Martin. Do not call me again.”

“Aminta—”

But she had disconnected.

When Martin was just 19, he’d gotten a girl pregnant, and then when she’d told him what she wanted to do, he had picked up extra shifts at work and lived on canned beans for two weeks to pay for the abortion. She hadn’t asked him to come with her, so he didn’t, and the relationship quietly fizzled out a few months after that. He still had a few odd things of hers—a glove she’d left behind, an ancient tube of lip gloss—and he thought of the baby that might have been sometimes, over the years, when he passed children on the street or in supermarkets. When Aminta called him two weeks ago, he thought, She would have been 17. For that brief moment listening to her voice on the phone, he thought he could be somebody.

 

One cold night in New York, Aminta had pressed herself against his naked back and wrapped her arms around him. They lay close, sweaty and shivering where the blankets didn’t reach. She’d mumbled about Homer and a beach back home where she liked to go.

Now it seemed fitting to go to Voidokilia, the beach where, as the story said, Odysseus’s son Telemachus landed in his search for a father. The beach was hidden, a horseshoe-shaped lagoon separated from the tourist beach by rolling dunes and grassy ruins. It was there that he saw her—no, not Aminta. Art. Martin first saw Art when he crested the hill and stood looking below to the white sand and her skin so bright under the Mediterranean sun as she walked into the blue, blue water of Voidokilia. The baby, Aminta, the husband, his father, the daughter that hadn’t been—all those things slipped away. Focus, he told himself. Find Aminta. But Aminta wasn’t here, and she was, and he felt that he could write odes to the way she pushed her wet, tangled hair from her face, or the shifting of her toes in the sand, or the water drops that slid down her skin and caught the light and caught him, too, in that moment.

Martin was a confident man in most of his endeavors. He lived a life with few consequences, and with nothing to fear he feared no failure. But today he was not here for himself, and so when she turned in his direction, he looked down at his toes in the sand. Telemachus, barely a man at twenty, had landed on this shore in search of a father he’d never known. A damn fool, Martin’s father might have called him, if he said anything at all.

Kalimera,” someone said.

He looked up to find the woman a few feet away, shifting her weight from foot to foot. He pointed to himself. “English. No Greek.”

She laughed. “Oh good. I just got that from a phrasebook.”

She asked him to take a picture of her. She had a real camera, a digital SLR with a sticker on the back that said “MIND THE GAP.” She stepped back towards the water and Martin looked through the viewfinder as she tapped her fingers against her thighs, then one hand twisted up towards her neck as though reaching for something that wasn’t there. She squared her shoulders, put her hands on her hips, and smiled for the photograph.

After the shutter clicked, he said, “Now I’ve stolen your soul.”

She laughed, a little.

He held the camera out to her with a smile. “You could return the favor.”

She took it without touching his hands. “You’d better keep it. I wouldn’t know what to do with a stranger’s soul.”

“Not a stranger,” he said. “I’m Martin.” She raised one eyebrow and told him her name was Marta. Martin and Marta, he thought—it could not be a coincidence.

“Oh no,” she said, “we can’t call ourselves that. Do you have a nickname?”

He shook his head no, but it was all right, she told him, because she did—her family called her Art because her little brother had not been able to say her name as a child. He said the name out loud. It fit.

 

Martin should not have called her again. No, not the woman from the beach—Aminta. There were many things he should not have done with Aminta.

He listened to the ringing on the other end. One, two, three. He stretched the cord as far as it would go and paced the room. Four, five, six, and then—a male voice answered in Greek. The husband. His words tilted up in a question. Martin said nothing.

“Aminta?” the husband asked.

Martin’s hand tightened on the phone, then he hung it up with a clang.

It was early in the evening, and below him the streets of Pylos were just waking up. He didn’t feel it strange, merely inevitable, that he should see her again, the woman from the beach, this time weaving her way through the other pedestrians into a restaurant a few doors down from the hotel where Martin stood.

He left the empty hotel room and walked into the hot night. A force compelled him, a need, a hair-thin line stretching from her navel to his. Martin, as a rule, followed his whims. She was sitting at a small table in the back of the restaurant, alone. She was reading something, even though this corner of the restaurant was dim, atmospheric, and so she pressed forward towards the candle flickering in the center of the table. As he watched, she frowned at the book, then picked up a pen and wrote something on the page. He decided he liked that she was willing to make a mark.

She looked up before he could say hello, and she was still frowning.

He coughed. “We met earlier, at the beach. I, uh, stole your soul?” He twisted his lips at the joke but she didn’t laugh. He glanced down and back up, this time with a smile. “Let me try again? Hi, we met earlier today, would you mind if I joined you?”

She gave him a long, measuring look, but he knew she was in before she closed her book and waved to the empty chair.

Marta, or Art as he would know her, was wearing dark makeup around her eyes and heavy gold earrings that dragged down the line of her neck to the juncture with her shoulder, and when she turned her head just so the earring cast a long shadow across her breastbone, exposed over the top of the tight black dress. He wondered why she was so dressed up for dinner alone, and didn’t dare to think that she had expected him.

She told him that she was from Poughkeepsie and he felt a thrill at the news that they were practically neighbors. She was a photographer, he the manager of a delicatessen, specializing in fine cheeses. She didn’t laugh at his jokes, just kept looking at him like she was grading him, but when she finally cracked a smile he knew she was grading on a curve. She asked how long he was staying, to which he shrugged and bit into a grilled pepper so hot it stung. He washed it down with wine, then asked her about the book she had been reading when he came in. He could see now that it looked more like a journal than a book. She set her palm over it.

“It’s nothing,” she said. “A bit of family history.”

She coughed, and he changed the subject. “What brings you to Pylos?”

“Oh, well, I wanted to go to Fiji but Greece was cheaper.”

“Really?” he said.

“No, I picked a random spot on the globe and ended up here.”

“No, you didn’t,” he said, but she just smiled at him without any teeth and took another sip of her wine while his rested forgotten in front of him.

“And you?”

“Oh, well, I wanted to go to Rome,” he lied, “but this was cheaper.” This was untrue, of course, but she clinked her glass against his. Maybe she found his lie as enticing as he did hers. “I’m on an odyssey,” he said later when she pressed him.

“Me too,” she said. “It’s good, isn’t it? To get away from your life sometimes.” She held her glass to her cheek, and he didn’t know if it was a question. Then she turned her smile back on. “This is going to be a good week.”

When they parted that night, it was nearing midnight and the restaurant was still flushed with the late diners, making her press close to his back as they wound their way between the tables into the burst of dry summer air outside. There was a guitar player down the street to their left, a small crowd gathering around him in a half moon, and Marta—Art—stared at the musician for a long moment before turning back to him. Their faces were very close. She nodded to some unvoiced question before saying, “Do this again tomorrow?”

 

Art wanted to see him in the evening, but first he had something he had to do. Aminta lived in a town called Finikounda, somewhere in the hills above Pylos. She lived with her husband. She worked in a winery. She had stopped answering his calls. These were the things he knew about her. She had told him she didn’t need him, but that she had told him at all—that was something he held onto.

Martin took a taxi to Finikounda, through mountain roads pocked with roadside shrines. In the village he wandered until he found a local watering hole and stepped inside to get a drink and shelter from the afternoon sun. He knew he stood out. He sipped his whiskey on the rocks and wondered if the other patrons were talking about him, if word would get around. Every time the door opened he looked up, but it was never her.

Would Martin’s father have made this trip for him, for the inkling of him? He had been a good man, and a kind man, which wasn’t always the same thing, but he never talked much, or not to Martin anyway, not even when his mother was alive. His father used to watch him with this look, this dazed, helpless look, like he didn’t know how Martin had come to be. They had gone fishing sometimes. It wasn’t something Martin excelled at or particularly enjoyed, but his father seemed to relax, standing in a shallow riverbed to cast his fly fishing rod, or drifting in a small boat with a baited line dragging behind them. It was a socially acceptable way for father and son to spend time together without uttering a word. His father would only speak when they got a pull on the line, or when the North Star appeared at the end of the Little Dipper, and he would tell the story of the time he’d run off as a child and gotten lost in the backwoods of western Pennsylvania. He followed the North Star home, trekking for what seemed like hours until he could hear his pit bull barking in the yard, and then there was the old dog, paws up on the chain-link fence and tail wagging. The dog licked at his cheeks while he could see his family in the warm light of the kitchen window and above him, still, the star. He always told this story, and he told it like it was new and Martin didn’t know every word by heart. Maybe he was trying to tell him something. Maybe it was the only story he knew. And then Martin’s mother had died, and his father stopped saying much at all.

Several whiskeys later, and not a single blonde head in the bar. Martin stared at the men. Any of them could have been the husband. That one with the gut hanging over his belt, or that one with the bald patch. The one with whiskers and a white tee shirt nearly gray with sweat. He knocked back the last of the whiskey in disgust at the thought of any of these men, even the one in the collared shirt with the neat beard, even him, raising Martin’s child. He couldn’t stand the thought. What kind of father spent his days in a bar? Martin walked over to the collared shirt and grabbed him by the shoulder. The man turned to him in surprise, and said something Martin couldn’t understand. Martin hated him. The man laughed and said something, and now his friends at the bar were laughing too, and Martin wanted to knock the happiness right out of him, so he punched him in the teeth, and they stopped goddamn laughing.

 

When they met that night, Art’s eyes widened at the sight of him and his bruises.

“I saw someone—someone trying to steal from me,” he said when she asked. “So I punched him.”

She looked like she wanted to say something, then frowned and closed her mouth. She tried again. “Did you at least get your wallet back?”

She was concerned. He smiled, and pulled his wallet from his pocket. She changed the subject, but the frown lingered. Did she think he was dangerous, unhinged, or just weak? He couldn’t tell.

Art had one glass of wine that night and Martin had two. He looked at the label on the wine. One of Aminta’s? He didn’t want to think of her when he was with Art, but she clawed at the back of his mind, an ever-present predator. Being with Art felt like relief, like a respite from the terrible need that pulled at him in other moments like reeds tangling around his legs and dragging him underwater. She was a buoy, a lifeline, carrying him to the shore.

Art’s lips were painted a red that matched the drink. A silver chain disappeared under her blouse and he wanted to know what she was hiding. He wanted to know all the lies she’d told, even as he told his own.

He was very aware of her all night, but never more so than when they left the restaurant and this time she walked with him a bit. He pointed out constellations and she led them to the guitarist busking on the street. She did not hold his hand as they stood side by side, but her skin was so close to his that he could feel his heart beating and himself straining for her while the guitarist plucked delicate sounds and sang, thin and reedy, in Albanian. The guitarist paused between songs and said in accented English, “You may not know the words, but the water in your body will understand.”

She swayed to the music, and there with the smell of the sea on the wind and the lights of the town in her eyes, he felt drunk with the shape of her. He loved the fall of her dark hair, loved the birthmark on her collarbone and the slight lines around her eyes, loved the clear skin and brown eyes and the whorls on her fingers that traced his jaw that night. When she pulled her shirt off, the chain he had glimpsed before fell against her skin, and he saw the burnished gold of a ring before she slipped the chain over her head and pooled it on the bedside table. She was nothing like Aminta; her hair was darker, her smile sharper, her fingers pressing hard enough to bruise. He touched the pad of his thumb to the freckle by her eye, and he imagined he could feel her pulse beating in her temple, although he knew the thumb had a pulse too, so he didn’t know if the staccato beat was his or hers.

 

He couldn’t call Aminta with Art in his bed, so he waited for her to rouse. She pushed her hair out of her face and looked at him like she was surprised to see him even though they were in his hotel room. He wanted to know who shared her bed back in Poughkeepsie, but it was too soon to ask.

There was a street market a short distance from town, and Martin and Art walked there side by side, though not hand in hand. Art fondled apples and pears and told him about the immense avocados she’d seen in Mexico. She tugged him to a halt to buy a cup of ouzo, and a flash of blonde over Art’s shoulder caught his eye. Not her.

“You look like you need a drink,” Art said. She lifted the cloudy glass to his lips, and he, unable to resist, drank.

She linked her arm with his. “I don’t want to go back.”

“To the hotel?”

“No,” she said. “To work. Life.”

“Who says you have to go back?” he said.

She swatted his chest with her free hand. He held tighter to the arm she had given him. He should have been—doing something, he didn’t know what, but it was easier, more pleasurable, to follow Art.

Later, they found a vendor with coffee beans from Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast. He liked the smell of the beans, but he liked even more the way Art smiled when she sank her fingers into the burlap sack. He purchased them for her, and she asked him to cup his hands together so she could pour a few into the open bowl of his palms and take a picture. Sometimes she asked him to take her photo. When he looked at her through the lens, she became someone not quite herself. Perhaps he was seeing the woman she wanted to be. She never took his picture; he did not know who he would be in her eyes.

Martin had asked Art before why she liked photography. “The camera sees things the eye doesn’t,” she’d said, “and a picture says more than we ever do.”

He wondered what she would see in the still image of his cupped hands, and later he would take out the coffee beans, their scent long gone, to turn over in his fingers and try to read what she was telling him.

They were the first thing he took.

 

These were the things Martin knew about Art:

1. She was a photographer, though she did not say if her pictures had been printed in any magazine or newspaper.
2. She lived in Poughkeepsie like he did, which felt something like fate, like the twinning of their names.
3. She told him she’d recently ended a relationship with a man who didn’t take her seriously enough, but if it were truly over, why did she still wear her wedding ring on the chain around her neck?
4. She liked it when he kissed the insides of her knees.
5. She pushed her fingers through his short hair and said she needed something longer to hold onto.
6. He hadn’t shaved in two days and the rough rasp of his stubble made her laugh and gasp and pull him closer, closer, which was exactly where he wanted to be.

These were the things Martin wanted to know:

1. Why did she ask him to take her picture at the beach, the museum, the café, but never asked a stranger to take theirs?
2. Why did she carry a journal with her everywhere but never let him see what was inside?
3. Who did she think of in the sleepy mornings when she was startled to see him in her bed?
4. Everything.

 

He found an answer to #2 one hot day in the harbor, sitting on a low wall overlooking the docks and the ships and the children playing, when she pulled a tiny gold key from her pocket, twisted it in the lock holding the diary shut, opened the book to a page she had marked, and began to read. He watched her lips forming words he didn’t understand for long sunny minutes before he asked, “What does it say?” and, to his surprise, she answered.

“It’s in Spanish,” she said, fingers curling over the leather spine. He waited, wondering, then she said, “I can translate,” and out in the bay he watched the wind filling the ships’ sails as she took a long breath, then let out the words: “I do not think my mother would have understood. Nor God. But in this country I pray to her for guidance…” She read to him about a husband she didn’t love and about an unnamed man who she wanted. She knew it was wrong. But oh—she paused, searching for the translation—she ached. Martin knew the feeling.

Later, he found himself thinking of the diary in the blank minutes and hours they were apart, thinking of her voice sounding out the words she had chosen for him to hear, of the cool salt water air and the story she shared of desire and temptation.

Her eyes were dark and intent on the page, her voice slow but thick with feeling. Her hand made a fist pushing into the stone like it was pushing back. She spoke of bodies and sins and a need he understood all too well: “I need to be touched,” she said, nearly a whisper.

She was tense and closed, but she opened when his fingers settled over her clenched fist. They touched from shoulder to thigh, and then she turned into him. Her eyes were light over water and he forgot everything when she kissed him. His mission pulled at his limbs but she pulled at his heart and he did not know how he could resist the fantasy of what if. He had this feeling that he just needed her to take his picture, to commit to that—to including him in her story—but he wanted to be…a good man, perhaps, in her view. He couldn’t explain it to her, yet, but he needed to finish what he came here for before he could be whole.

 

Because Aminta would not take his calls, and because he did not find her any place he looked, Martin had no other recourse. Perhaps her husband had begun to suspect, and that was why she ignored him. She had said that he knew, but maybe that had been a lie meant to dissuade him: look at my life, so wonderful, and none of it for you.

He took another ride to Finikounda. The taxi left him at the mouth of a narrow lane, and refused to go any further because there was no way out. Martin went on foot, looking around for a street sign. He’d found her in a phone book, but the address wouldn’t do much good if he couldn’t find his way around this town. Sweat was sticking his shirt to him by the time he found a villager to ask directions.

“Papagiannis?” he said. “Aminta Papagiannis?”

After a few false starts, the man pointed the way.

Efharisto,” Martin said, about the only word he had. The sun was high in the sky as he approached, and his trepidation dragged at his feet, but he had crossed his own Rubicon and he had to see this through. He had to make her understand—and then a tiny house, white with a blue door and shutters and red clay roof, and a rope hammock strung up in front. A woman asleep, her face tipped away, showing just those yellow curls, a loose shirt rising up over the swell. Although they were nothing alike, Martin thought then of Art as he had seen her that morning, curled on her side, away from him, all the sheets wrapped around her even in the heat.

His eyes found Aminta’s belly button, rising with every breath. She snored a little, he remembered that, but in their time together she had always slept on her side. The door opened and a man stepped out from the dark interior. Martin’s feet were rooted to the brick road. The man was a bit taller, a bit thinner, black hair speckled with gray, feet bare as he strode over to her and splayed his fingers right there on the curve of her belly.

That morning, Art had woken when he pressed his lips to her shoulder, and for a moment she had stiffened against him before relaxing. Later, when he left, he’d glanced back at her as he stood in the doorway. She was sitting up, her back to him, hair tumbling down to the wings of her shoulder blades, sheets pooling around her hips and her tattoo just a hand’s breadth from the dimple above her ass. She leaned forward and he thought the tattoo was a line from a poem, maybe, but he didn’t know much poetry. She extended her arm and he saw the flash of light on gold as she slipped the chain over her head.

Aminta and her husband whispered to each other, and though he stood only a few yards away, he might as well have been in another universe for all the note they took. In that moment looking at the pair and their home, Martin felt his hope draining away. He was not needed. He realized that he had not crossed his Rubicon—he was caught in its current, and like any man drowning, he would reach for anything he could grab hold of, and he would not let go.

 

Martin had taken the coffee beans from the market because he feared the chasm that would open in his hours without Art, hours spent scouring winery after winery or dialing a phone that never picked up, and in those hours he needed something. He took the other things because when he lost even his tender hope, the beans were not enough. He spent as much of his time with her as he could—walking along the shore, exploring Pylos’s ruins, sleeping between the crisp linens in her room while the ceiling fan made its wobbly rotations above them and she stretched in the bed and rubbed her toes against his calf, all of that with her. But in the other moments, in the moments when he sat alone and waited for something that never came, in those moments he inhaled the still fresh aroma of the coffee beans, or cradled the sand dollar she’d given him in his cupped palms, or lingered over the pink cotton flower she’d been wearing in her hair before he plucked it.

 

It was only ten days in the end. They were walking through the low remains of Nestor’s palace, a once-great structure reduced to six-inch walls and a painted bathtub. She stopped him with his back to the valley below and hefted her camera. “Let me get a picture of us. Something to remember you by.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m going home,” she said, and she wasn’t even looking at him when she said it, but at the camera. “I’m leaving tomorrow night. Going to Delphi for a few days, then back to the states.”

His breath was loud in his ears, like the conch shell’s roar, and he could only look at her not looking at him. “I could go with you to Delphi. Or find you back home,” he said. “We could…”

She stopped fiddling with her camera and met his eyes. He flinched. “I don’t think that would be a good idea,” she said.

Martin felt like he was capsizing. He was watching Aminta in the hammock with her husband touching her swollen belly. He wanted to close his eyes and imagine the feeling of rolling the coffee beans between his fingers. He wanted a drink.

She frowned at him. “You cannot honestly be upset right now.” He wanted to back away, but she grabbed his arm and even that contact felt like a lifeline. “Martin, come on, what were you expecting? You have to go home too, you know.”

“We could see each other, in Poughkeepsie…”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she repeated. Her voice was gentle now, like she didn’t want to anger him, but he was angry, irrationally so. He’d thought that she needed this as much as he did. She’d taken her ring off. She didn’t want to go back, he knew it. Was she too much of a coward to stay? He swallowed. He didn’t know what he would do without her.

“Sorry,” she said, although she didn’t sound it. She dropped her hand and walked away.

 

That evening, he was leaning out the window when the phone rang. He pulled himself inside after the third ring and cradled the receiver between his shoulder and his ear as he poured himself a drink.

“Hallo? Martin? Martin, it’s Aminta.”

He closed his eyes and swallowed the liquor. “Aminta.”

She breathed down the phone line. “You are still here.”

He shrugged in the empty room.

“I only called to say…well this does not change anything, but I thought you should know. It’s a girl.”

 

He didn’t mean to do what he did that night. He only wanted to look. He couldn’t read the Spanish, but the memory of her voice as she read to him about loving someone who wasn’t her husband—he had to know if there was something of him in there. He had to know why she had shared that with him. Why she had wanted him to know.

When he knocked on the door to her hotel room, she’d opened it. He’d thought she was angry with him, but for whatever reason, she turned to the side and said, eyelids at half-mast, “You want to come in?” Who was he to resist? Their bodies knew each other, if nothing else. She fell asleep first, and he lay awake for a long while just listening to the even ins and outs of her breath before he eased out from under her arm and walked as quietly as he could to the bedside table. He opened the drawer where he knew she kept the diary, pausing when the hinge squeaked, but she didn’t wake so he reached inside. The key wasn’t in the lock, and it wasn’t in the drawer either. He settled back on his heels. The light from the window caught the silver chain on the bedside table. He didn’t mean to steal her ring. He only wanted the key that was strung up beside it. But when his hand closed over the cool metal he imagined her flying home and leaving JFK or no, Newark, he had a feeling it would be Newark, and she would slip the ring back on her finger before going to meet him, her husband, who she shouldn’t be with anyway, and Martin walked right out of that room with the diary, the ring, and the key, and her still sleeping when the door fell shut behind him.

 

On a bus to Athens, he opened the diary and flipped to the last page. The last entry was dated 1993. Was this some trick? Some of the pages in the beginning were dog-eared, and her pencil had circled and underlined and scratched notes in the margins. All of it nonsense. Incomprehensible. Where was the husband she was running from? Where was Martin?

Through the dusty window, Pylos receded. In a hotel looking down on the harbor, a woman was just now waking up. Martin closed Art’s book. He knew then that she was as foreign to him as this country, as the child would always be.

 

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