I lived down on the ocean that summer. The sun seemed fixed far out and low over the waves in the afternoon sky, never moving. A thin veil of haze passed across its surface, dimming it to a pale white that was softer on the eyes, and yet everything under its light was drained of color like an old foreign movie. I was staying in a high-rise apartment building that was right down on the waterfront. A tall monument rising out of the sand with walls made entirely of glass, you could see every floor, layer upon layer, and the people within, silent marionettes performing all the endless variations of the waltz of life.
A blonde girl that I had gone to school with lived a few floors above me. I dropped by to see her. She lay on a lounge chair in the middle of the living room, wearing a black bikini and basking in the sun. There was no need to leave the apartment; the sunlight came right through the glass. She looked just the same to me. She lifted her sunglasses and smiled up at me and spoke in french with subtitles. She told me that she had been here all the while, staying fit, eating healthy, the hour never advancing. I took this in as I looked out at the sun and at the long, deep shadows cast by every object in the grey room.