From the story, When Murray Met Helen

As in:

It was the third of May, blue and unseasonably warm, such that Murray was down to his t-shirt, yanking on dandelions, preparing to put in more strawberries.

Helen was wearing a red bikini beneath her silk, Japanese bathrobe, using her reading glasses, working her way through the Sunday paper and applying a tall glass of lemonade as a paperweight.

“What was that you were listening to last night when I came home?” she asked.

It was the lay of their lots that Murray’s bedroom was just eight feet away from Helen’s bathroom, the inner realms of their lives separated only be a white picket fence and a small thicket of forsythia. It was a casual barrier, allowing a discourse of sounds and lights, such that they could tell when the other was awake or, in Helen’s case, using the bathroom.

“What?” Murray tossed back. “You don’t know Brubeck?”

Well, of course she knew it was Brubeck. She was just pulling on the old guy’s cape.

“Is that some kind of jazz? Or what do you call that?”

“It’s called Brubeck young lady.”

“He’s good, right?’

“Ah. Sheeeesh.”

“What’s wrong?”



“You’re shittin’ me again. I can tell.”

“No. I told you,” Helen said, purposely lilting her voice to effect innocence. “I don’t pick on old people.”

“Oh cut it, Helen,” he scowled. “I just walk like I’m eighty-six. You know I’m young at heart.”

“Yeah,” she called back. “Then how come you never take me to a Brewer’s game?”

“I dunno,” he said. “Because you’d probably wear that bikini. Because people would talk.”


“I have a reputation to repair.”

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