from short story “Vivian Relf” by Jonathan Lethem

In this passage Jonathan Lethem writes of two young people standing outside at a party trying to work out where they know each other from, feeling distinctly familiar to each other, but turning out not to be acquainted.

” In the grade of woods over the girl’s shoulder Doran sighted two pale copper orbs, flat as coins. Fox? Bunny? Racoon? He motioned for the girl to turn and see, when at that moment Top approached them from around the corner of the house. Doran’s hand fell, words died on his lips. Tiny hands or feet scrabbled urgently in the underbrush, as though they were repairing a watch. The noise vanished.”

” Later that night he saw her again, across two rooms, through a doorway. The party had grown. She was talking to someone new, a man, not her friends. He felt he still recognised her, but the sensation hung uselessly in a middle distance, suspended, as in amber, in doubt so thick it was a form of certainty. She irked him, that was all he knew.”

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