On his twenty-ninth birthday, there was a cool breeze at the beach, and he knew it. True, he was nowhere near the beach, because she hated sand and water, but still he knew. There’s always a cool breeze at the beach They were in a cab coming back from somewhere, and he clutched the cardboard box wrapped in birthday paper the whole way. That present, in the cardboard box, was the biggest present he’d ever gotten. Not the most beautiful, but definitely the biggest. And he kept his arm around her the whole way, kissed her on the cheek, the breasts, more surprised with every kiss that she wasn’t embarrassed. When he paid the fare, the ugly driver said he’d never seen a more perfect couple. He’s on the road a lot, circling the city like a vulture over an open grave, but he’s never seen a couple like them. And the second the driver said that, he felt this heat in his body. A buried heat that spreads only on the rare occasions when a great truth is in the air. And when he told her later, in bed, how he’d felt at that moment, she said that if he needed positive reinforcement from a pimple-faced cabdriver who couldn’t even stay in his own lane, then their relationship must really be over. He pressed up against her and said she had such a nice heart and he loved it. She cried like a princess and said she wanted him to love her, all of her, not just her organs. Their eyes were closing now, and the sea breeze cooled his face as he feel asleep beside her, curled into himself like a child, like a baby.