Conrad was lying in bed, near the window. A green, half drawn venetian blind; the room filled with rulers of light. No air conditioner, only a ceiling fan. Come, sit next to me, Conrad said. He lightly patted the bed. Alice sat down on the edge of the bed. Conrad was naked, a white, thin sheet covering his loins, that was all. Alice, seeing him naked for the first time, was amazed how beautiful he was, an old, naked man with white chest hair and brown skin, a little lighter in soft bends of the arms and at the neck; he looked solid there was nothing fragile about him. She though, if he weren't sick, I would have seen him like this for the first time when we went swimming, and she didn't know which she would have preferred: Would it have been his nakedness in his bed? Perhaps.
Judith Hermann, Alice, Clerkenwell press


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