The Big Death

“Do you think the French are right?”

She took another sip of her French Roast and slumped back in the metal chair, sunlight glinting off the corner of her aviators.

“About what,” I asked?

“About the little death.”

I couldn’t see her wink but I knew it flirted behind those ray-shielded Ray-Bans. She licked her lips and leaned across the wrough-iron table, careful not to spill her coffee.

“I guess I’m just curious to know if la grande mort is as pleasurable as la petite mort.”

Statue-still she sat, satisfied in her stillness and the shock she’d delivered, which must have registered all over my face.

“I don’t mean to suggest that I’m contemplating suicide or the like, but it has” – and here she paused to let me appreciate the anticipation – “aroused my suspicion that I might enjoy dying.”

“And,” I asked?

“And I’d like to maybe have another cup.”

The glasses came off, her cup raised and lowered.

I smiled, giving myself away again.

“It would be grand to explore la petite mort with you,” I said.

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