"YES. A COUPLE OF TIMES."
"Do I know you from somewhere?" She wants to talk about John Hawkes. I want more desperately than I have believed myself capable to be silent, unselfish, and to listen. Black coffee tastes sweet. The Sears purchase slung over the back of my chair, for all she knows I am a football player. Not a soldier.
When I learn her name I hear the word and picture the spelling "carrel". She's the type I've loved since I was a kid, a ladybug in bookworm's clothing.
I ask her to a go-go. That is, I get Carol's telephone number so I can take her out to a concert. The Rolling Stones. "Okay. Aren't they playing free next week?"
Yes, Carol. And there is a Santa Claus.