"The Blizzard of '94 in Philadelphia," the professor replied. "This was one of my ex-wives' apartment building, right across from Arlington Cemetery in Drexel Hill."
"The concert pianist?"
"Yes. There that brooding girl is, deep in reading. The big pot outside the window contained some sort of flowers that I took to be a symbol of our emerging relationship. I could see green shoots peeking through the snow, and I was happy to believe that in just a few weeks its flowering would represent the triumph of light over darkness. As usual, I was mistaken. They soon died."
"Which is why you must now refer to her as but one of the exes. By the way, if you don't mind my asking, how many do you have?"
"Entirely too many. The cumulative heartbreak and anguish they brought me is literally beyond the language. I reel in wordless silence."
James laughed. "I see your bent for irony has not waned."
"Black cat. That couldn't have been a good sign, either."
"That was the most smug and self-satisfied beast I've ever encountered. Buster Bunny's cold disdain came from his knowing that I was merely passing through, that I would soon be replaced by still another in a line of suitors. He knew his mistress loved HIM entirely more than she loved me."
"The concert pianist's apple pie was very nearly as good as her keyboard technique. Absolutely magnificent. A rich, thick crust. A filling of sweet apples, orange marmalade, raisins, cinimaon. Mmmmmm. Of course I simply was compelled to propose marriage not too long after that pie emerged, steaming, from the oven."
"Did she accept?"
"No. She just said, 'WHOA!'"
"But you persisted."
"I had no choice."