You should come and take me by surprise, he had been thinking of late, you should catch me by surprise as he allowed himself that thought, he thought, one of those strange light dark evenings, one of those wet evenings when it gets dark quite suddenly, he thought, it has been a long time since we have met and besides the uneasy summer is giving way to autumn and it has been a long time since we have met, he thought, and we could talk about this and that amid some talk of other things on a wet light dark evening. He began to see her now, as if they were standing face to face, in that certain way that they face each other, with an undecided space between each other, with distance that is neither close nor far. He would naturally want her to stand with her back to the window that opens on to the High Street, while he would face her, smoking a silent cigarette, smoking that silent way of his as she would begin to speak about the numerous things that bother her, she being a student of philosophy and he being a person at the margins of philosophy, he thought. Quite naturally, she would start her usual tirade about everything, including how it is possible for truth to remain hidden under disputatious rhetoric and how all her so called friends had drifted away without any leave taking, she would have added.
But all these were mainly his thoughts, he knew, and all that he thought was nothing more than a wish. He knew that such mercies were not granted anymore and that he would have to imagine her facing him, with her back to the window facing the High Street and himself smoking silently, and he would have to imagine her in a disputatious mood, which made her look beautiful and gave her eyes the colour of brown and brandy, he thought and imagine himself in his usual sense of apprehension, for at the moment of truth, he had never known effusiveness. He would have to, he thought, imagine her talking and looking into the distance and ignore the sometimes uncomfortable silences between each long difficult thought of hers, he thought, a gap that neither knew how to fill, or knew but didn't know if the time had come, he thought. But all this was merely an exercise in self-pity, he thought, for in reality their encounters had seldom been positive, she always in the throes of metaphysics, he thought, and he always in the grasp of speechless stupendour. Such were his thoughts as he wished these thoughts, and he could think of nothing else.