I do write a nice article about the California Wine Country. I write a series of them. A few days before the Valentine Day, Susan and I are having Sushi at Kama Kura in Evanston. We both are quiet or making polite low key conversation to fill the void that seems to have dawned between us two since my return from California. I sense it, but can’t quite put my finger on the possible cause.

‘You’re too sophisticated for me.’ I hear her say. Right!

She obviously has given our relationship some serious thought during these days. We talk for the umpteen time the perception and reality –  misunderstandings and interpretations.  But we both know, there is nothing more to say.

‘You know, you’re right, I have middle class values,’ she concedes. I’m disarmed.

Two days later, its Sunday and two days before the Valentine Day. The night before I have cooked an elaborate Indian meal. We have washed it down with a bottle of Cuvee Fumé  Preston. We have spent another one of the most loving and passionate nights. We are sitting at the round glass top table in the breakfast nook of my kitchen. There are tears. No more words. Laying in the middle is a bouquet of a dozen champagne roses – more my style than the traditional red ones.

And then she is gone. Emptiness begins to fall like the fluffy snow flakes. Slowly accumulating and settling on the ground.

© Haresh Shah

Illustration: Celia Rose Marks

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Next Friday, November 29, 2013

“HE’S A SON OF A BITCH’

That’s me they’re talking about. The question most asked of me time and time again is: How does one get a job at Playboy? Or more to the point: How did you get to work for them? Other than joking around, I have always avoided giving a straight answer to these questions – lest it may end up sounding like a boast.

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