They sat and ate dinner across from each other.  Esther

noticed how much older Ezra seemed.  She was aware of

how his clothes looked loose on him now, although he

still appeared a severe man, precise as a utility in

the way he moved and the way he talked sparingly

at the table.  He remained mostly laconic and silent about

the landscape of his thoughts.  Esther knew what he was

thinking about.  She knew he was thinking about Ben.  There

was no longer a closeness between him and Ben; whatever

intimacy had once existed had always been engineered by Esther.

_________________________________________________

Paraphrases from the novel Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje.

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