I lauched into my speech. "Hello-Brenda-Brenda-you-don't-know-me-that-is-you-don't-know-my-name-but-I-held-your-glasses-for-you-this-afternoon-at-the-club... You-asked-me-to-I'm-not-a-member-my-cousin-Doris-is-Doris-Klugman-I-asked-who-you-are..." I breathed, gave her a chance to speak, and then went ahead and answered the silence on the other end. "Doris? She's the one who's always reading War and Peace. That's how I know it's the summer, when Doris is reading War and Peace." Brenda didn't laugh; right from the start she was a practical girl.
"What's your name?" she said.
"Neil Klugman. I held your glasses at the board, remember?"
She answered me with a question of her own, one, I'm sure, that is embarassment to both the homely and the fair. "What do you look like?"
"Are you a Negro?"
"No," I said.
"What do you look like?"
"May I come see you tonight and show you?"
"That's nice," she laughed. "I'm playing tennis tonight."
"I thought you were driving golf balls."
"I drove them already."
"How about after tennis?"
"I'll be sweaty after," Brenda said.
It was not to warn me to clothespin my nose and run in the opposite direction; it was a fact, it apparently didn't bother Brenda, but she wanted it recorded.
"I don't mind," I said, and hoped by my tone to earn a niche somewhere between the squeamish and the grubby. "Can I pick you up?"
She did not answer a minute; I heard her muttering, "Doris Klugman, Doris Klugman..." Then she said, "Yes, Briarpath Hills, eight-fifteen."
"I'll be driving a -" I hung back with the ear, "a tan Plymouth. So you'll know me. How wil I know you?" I said with a sly, awful laugh.
"I'll be sweating," she said and hung up.
Trecho do conto "Goodbye Columbus", de Philip Roth, em que os jovens Neil Klugman e Brenda Patimkn iniciam um inquietante relacionamento guiado pela curiosidade sexual e pelas perdas.