What can YOU say in six sentences?
Ophelia and her husband Ken fulfill the Jack-Spratt-dynamic of all couples by countering Ophelia's loquaciousness with Ken's broad Cheshire cat silence.
She already speaks German when she joins my advanced conversation class, and explains that they--we all think CIA--taught her to speak Serbian while Ken was teaching Russian to the enlisted men.
A life in Switzerland adheres to her German, but in acknowledging the Serbian, she has apparently already reached the limits of what she will divulge. Hence, in their social interactions much of their life remains obscure.
Everything Ken and Ophelia do tends toward extreme sports: they are both devoted member of the North Rivers Running Club. Most members are gray heads: old, and some emeritus, professors and their wives or current girlfriends--doubly bound together through the relentless academic grind and the miles they've clocked together: jogging daily at noon, the annual marathon, and the forty miles to Willow Creek, a punishing intramountain course devised to test their manhood every spring.
"The creep, just fresh from another murder, runs down one of North Rivers' own on a sunny weekday morning, and the newspapers respond with impotent mewlings about multiple agencies and delicate considerations, BUT I want this jerk behind bars ,now--and for good!"
"He's already in custody," Ophelia assures me, "so my guess is they're being extra careful not to provide any legal loopholes by 'trying him in the press.'"
"If this guy walks free--I don't know what I'll do!" I croak, but she responds matter of factly, "Oh, if he gets out, someone will kill him."
"You mean?" I nod towards her husband.
"The guys," she responds, her voice rising slightly, as if I should have known.
The satisfaction that rises in me tastes metallic and familiar as my own blood.