The word this week was:
a : exact likeness : semblance
image — Genesis 1:27 (Revised Standard Version)b : a person strikingly like another person image of her mother>
The couples at breakfast. Sunday morning, rumpled from the night before or from fuzzy morning sex, the couples sit, eating. Coffee in mugs. Pancakes, yogurt. You can tell the new couples because they are talking, talking, talking; smiling, happy to be here this morning after a night before; relieved at this breakfast, this miniature happily ever after, the rush that someone wanted this too, this toast, this coffee, these blueberry pancakes, with them.
The longer-term couples sit quietly, murmuring to each other from time to time, glancing at each other or past one another or each reading a newspaper or book or a message on a portable device. They have gone through the rites of coupledom: the demoting of friends, the drawing in; the fearful elimination of everything poisonously individual until there is nothing left but an image of the other.
Alone with my book, I imagine sitting here with someone, a mate, knowing each other better than anyone else. I lean forward and whisper: