Who’d have thought?
“She knows his name before she knows him, a name like an intricate puzzle made from stainless steel; it’s a name she’s heard often, and written down sometimes, but their paths have never intersected, and she has never hoped they would. She’s prone to invention from thin air, and when she gives him any thought it is coloured by the cool untouchable silveriness of his name. She does not picture him as a man who laughs, who can take and make a joke: from the innocuous letters of his name alone she cobbles a personality that is austere, mannerly, antisocial. She’s antisocial herself, sees nothing wrong with the trait, admires it even; but she has no desire to meet him. When he crosses her mind it is on a ribbon of resentment, that in all the years she’s traipsed their common circles he has never sought her out, never given her his time, never paid her the attention she’s been led to believe she’s due. There is nothing she can do about it except to give him little thought in return.
So when they do meet, in a crowded room, she is amazed.”