The man had just lost a football game. He did not know what to say, how to make it clear. Now he would never use the plays that he had saved to use until he knew enough to use them well. At least his khakis fit. They always fit, and they always made sense. Eight dollars is what they cost.

He had no feeling about the woman who was asking him the questions. He thought about the boat on the river, and the quick tug of the trout on the hook and the way you could hear a man grind down to gristle and bone when you were out near the lines and all the scrollwork and ornament that you had to cut away to get to the true thing. There was no way to say it honestly so that you got all of it and that was what he would have to work on, but for now there was the woman and she was waiting. "More than a football game," is what he settled on.