It is a night of luxury.
Alicia slices the bread in the kitchen, it's easier there. Then picks up a new wine bottle and brings it all along the straight path to the back of the garden, where the fire is burning high and without smoke, the pine logs very dry. Brushing against the sage awakes its pungent smell, she smiles in the darkness.
When she gets there, the child is almost crying over her toast, lost in the flames. It's a blond girl with trusting eyes and long limbs, last year she looked like Rembrandt's baby sister, but no more. Alicia gives her bread, pours the wine in the five outstretched glasses.
So many stars, the cicadas -or are they crickets? she never knows. She sits down on the wooden bench, happy to let the others talk. The house isn't hers, nor the child. But the friendship.
A colander makes the round, full of the first strawberries. Conversation swims on the soft light. Lazy easy wisecracking touching on whatever passes.
Someone says oh god do you remember the breakfast joke, the one with the butter ? No. So he tells the story, about a man who complains to his friend that he made a terrible blunder:
- I was trying to ask her if she'd like tofu, and I said Do you like to fuck?
Answers the friend:
- Oh don't worry. The other day I was going to ask my wife to pass me the butter, and what came out was : I'm so fed up with you, I can't even stand to look at you any more, you old cunt!".
Laughter rolls and dies away. In the silence the child asks, her voice clear and a bit hurt:
- I don't understand. Why is this funny?
A beat. Alicia slow as ever looks for words to explain. But another joke is told, the chatter takes a new turn, and it's too late. The question never gets answered.