Saturday, February 2, 2013

Another sneak peek from Yellow Light of Dusk

“Is your cigar tolerance sufficient for another?” Alex asked.

“It is, I regret to say,” I said, and Henry opened the box and brought it to me. I selected a Cohiba corona, small enough that it wouldn’t take all night to smoke. Henry closed the box and held out his hand. I placed the cigar in it and he clipped the end. I lit it is I had the first. It was milder than the first, generating gorgeous white smoke. We sat in contemplative silence as dusk turned to evening and a low mist seeped along the ground in the distance.

“I am duly impressed,” Alex said as I approached the halfway point of the stogie. “Most people would have turned green by now.”

“I’m a man of few talents, and the few I possess are considered vices by most people.”

“What about journalism?” Alex inquired.

“I rest my case,” I said.

Alex and Nicole laughed, and Alex closed her eyes. I knew a quotation was coming.

“Churchill once said, ‘I drink a good deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That’s why I’m in two-hundred percent form,’” she said.

I tried to match her.

“A good cigar is like a beautiful chick who knows the box scores,” I said. “Klinger said something like that.”

Both Alex and Nicole turned their heads and stared at me.

“From the TV show, M*A*S*H,” I said, looking away after giving them a quick look of satisfaction with a quick raising of my eyebrows. I looked back as they simultaneously rolled their eyes. Then Alex closed her eyes again, signaling another quotation.

“Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in newspapers is another,” she said. We waited. “That was G.K. Chesterton, I believe.”

“You win,” I said.

“She always does,” Nicole said.

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