An awkward sight, when L returned from her business trip: an empty half bottle of Champagne on my nightstand, beside our bed. It was the Arlaux NV I’d opened the night my mother helped out with the girls, and I’d brought it to bed to remind myself to make tasting notes before I fell asleep. But I had to admit, the bottle presented quite a tempting clue to a suspicious mind (which L, thankfully, does not have).

If I got past the possible implications of serious self-indulgence, or even of alcoholism—of drinking Champagne alone in bed, while the girls slept in their own sober beds—it was an almost thrilling image. Such an affair it would seem to imply! Or, dropping all context and simply witnessing the scene in isolation: such a delicious, hedonistic life.

See more articles