In a movie theater one afternoon, after the movie had ended and everyone had gone, I stayed in my seat in a row toward the back, and waited until people who’d purchased tickets for the next showing wandered in, seating themselves and talking in quiet voices, or standing in the aisle to look for the ideal spot. And still I stayed where I was. And when finally the lights went down again, and the movie I’d already seen began, I fell asleep, and didn’t wake until it was almost over. There on the screen was the face of the actress, crying soundlessly as she drove a car no one else was in, on a bright day, along a road other cars were on. In the silence of the theater I stood, and moved along my row in the dark, and on down the aisle, and down the carpeted ramp toward the door with the lighted exit sign above it.
One morning, in a city I was visiting, in a country whose language I didn’t understand, while sitting at a table in an outdoor cafe, drinking coffee, I saw two old women wearing dark veils slowly descend the steps of a stone church they had just come out of.