The various cars that left her house late at night made him see her as dissolute. Shaw said, and they both became quiet. What a pretty, good woman, he thought. He also learned that she had been divorced for a decade.
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He had always been proud of his looks and had dressed well. Gopal wanted to put his hands on her waist and pull her toward him.
The sun shone behind her. Shaw replied, and smiled. This was typical of the details that could baffle him in the morning. When he first heard the doorbell, the ringing became part of a dream. Shaw beside him. After a moment she said, "I heard. Gopal's mind refused to provide a response to this.
He stepped out of the doorway. The sky was blue dissolving into white. And then he realized that he had. Hold on, Mrs. The light was dim, and he had difficulty finding them. Her husband, a successful orthodontist, had left her. She stopped, turned to look at him, and said, "I'll call.
He let the engine run for a minute.
Shaw," Gopal said, standing near the phone on the kitchen wall. Before she entered her house, Mrs. Shaw turned and looked at him as he stood at the top of his driveway. Shaw's large breasts, boy's haircut, and little-girl sneakers. He pushed the lawn mower out onto the gravel driveway and jerked the cord to test the engine.
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He switched on the lights. To the right was the kitchen. Then she rolled the lawn mower down the driveway and onto the road. Thank you. The garage smelled of must and gasoline.
It must be hard. The sunlight pressed through windows that were laminated with dirt. He was wearing only underwear and socks, but his blanket was cold from sweat.
Maurya," Mrs. Shaw said, looking at him and through him into the darkened house and then again at him. He wanted to tell her how the loneliness had made him fantasize about calling an ambulance so that he could be touched and prodded, or how for a while he had begun loitering at the Indian grocery store like the old men who have not learned English.
The lawn mower was in a shadowy corner with an aluminum ladder resting on it. Only he had been in the house during the four months since his wife had followed his daughter out of his life, and the sound of the bell ed somehow with his dream to make erotic feel ridiculous. The driveway was separated from her ranch-style house by ten or fifteen feet of grass, and they were connected by a trampled path. Not nowhe thought. She smiled and waved. He believed that something would soon be said or done to delay Mrs. Shaw's departure, for certainly God free not Atlantic him alone again.
They looked at each other for a moment without saying anything.
Shaw," Gopal said, his voice pitted and rough, "some bad things have happened to me. No," Mrs. Shaw said, laughing and putting her palms flat against his chest. Even her nostrils suggested a frank sexuality. As he groped under and behind the couch and looked among the clothes crumpled on the floor, he worried that Mrs.
Shaw would not wait and was already walking down the steps. I am glad, though, that you are visiting. They went to the garage.
He looked through the peephole. The light and cold air swept in, reminding him of what he must look like. Shaw rang the bell again. Gopal woke confused and anxious, the state he was in most mornings. You must not feel ashamed; it's no fault of yours. The warm sun on the back of his neck made Gopal hopeful.
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Shaw stood in the center of the room and looked around her. Shaw and Gopal had been neighbors for about two years, but Gopal had met her only three or four times in passing. He carefully poured gasoline into the lawn mower, wanting to appear calm, as if the two of them had already made some commitment and there was no need for nervousness. He wanted to tangle her in conversation and keep her there for hours. Although he did not dislike Mrs. Shaw, Gopal was irritated by the peeling paint on Atlantic house and the weeds sprouting out of her broken asphalt driveway, as if by association his house were becoming shabbier.
Shaw walked across Gopal Maurya's lawn free his house. Shaw was standing sideways about a foot from the erotic, and appeared to be staring out over his lawn at her house. From his wife he had learned that Mrs. Shaw was a guidance counselor at the high school his daughter had attended. She was slightly overweight, and her nostrils appeared to be perfect circles, but her small white Reebok sneakers made Gopal see her as fleet with youth and innocence.
Since then Mrs. Shaw had moved five or six times, though rarely more than a few miles from where she had last lived.
Now he feared that the gray stubble and long hair made him appear bereft. Shaw appeared startled by this detail. The sky was bright and clear.
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Gopal was a small man, with delicate high cheekbones and long eyelashes. I also have some tropical punch," he continued, opening the refrigerator door wide, as if to show he was not lying. Not now, not now, he thought, each time he tugged. Gopal felt like smiling, but wanted to make everything appear casual. To extend their time together, Gopal walked to the refrigerator and asked her if she wanted anything to drink.
Gopal did not try kissing her again, but he was excited. He wondered if he had time to turn on the light to make his search easier. Erotic front door opened into a vestibule, and one had a clear view from there of the living room and the couch where Gopal slept. The house was dark. I'm sorry I didn't. She had bought the small mustard-colored house Atlantic to Gopal's as part of this restlessness.
She was short and red-haired and wore a pink sweatshirt and free jogging pants.
He stood up and hurried to the door. The round Formica table and the counters were dusty. Shaw stood silent beside him. It was Saturday, and Gopal was asleep on the couch. But all this Gopal was willing to forget that morning, in exchange for even a minor friendship.
Gopal found the pants and shirt and tugged them on as he returned to open the door.