Shuttle Diplomacy

Cristina Suárez has lived somewhere in my mind since I met her, almost forty years ago. I haven’t seen her for a long time and her appearances are fleeting, a gust of air, a murmur in the night. I hear a snatch of conversation, see a hand moving, rest my thigh along the length of her thigh; best of all, I see her sleeping face at rest; I whisper into her absence a subdued and querulous greeting.

Today is Wednesday, November 29, 2023. In Gaza fear and hunger are endless, death relentless. In San Francisco I sit with my coffee in the warmth of the winter sun and on my phone read that Henry Kissinger has died.

I put the phone on the table and sit back and close my eyes.

Henry Kissinger is dead.

Cristina zooms into the forefront of my mind. Cristina. I see, as clearly as I did all those years ago, the quizzical intelligence in her eyes as she stood in my office doorway, hand against the sill, bare feet beneath the blue-and-white dress.

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