The Quotable

The Foreign Film

We walked from the campus to where the only movie theater for thirty miles rested in a curve of the highway. A Belmondo film was showing. This was our first date.

There was nothing romantic about the afternoon. The sky was dirty gray with coming snow. The snow on the curbside ground was dirty gray from coal smoke and passing trucks. Our talk was of classes and professors, the business of being students, rather than a future or favorite songs. I was surprised when she put her arm through mine. That simple touch electrified my body and drove the cold out of my bones.

I paid for the tickets, despite her protest. The Impoverished Rebel in leather-patched jeans, over-sized fisherman’s sweater, and worn boots, I still intended to be The Gentleman. She favored me to my toes with a smile as I helped her out of her coat.

As the movie began, I put my arm around her. The image of softness beneath her pullover made it hard to follow the action on the screen. She leaned against me. My free hand rested in hers on her lap. Her head was on my shoulder and her scent in my heart. I was content to live in the moment. If asked to speak, I could only have purred.

After the movie ended, after the unexpected sun on the snow left me as blind as having her next to me, we headed back. I steered us toward the bus station and its diner. Coffee and club sandwiches for two formed a wall across the table, allowing us to talk instead of touch. We could spend time together over Christmas break. Our homes weren’t far apart. The city was convenient.

The snow came as we arrived at her dorm. In the commons room, we settled on a couch. I forgot about the world beyond her lips and the press of her body to mine. There was a moment when we touched hands and a spark actually jumped between our fingers.

Evening settled in. She hugged me in the doorway, steeling me for the storm outside. We were happening too fast, she suddenly said. She needed to back up and figure out where she was going. This was our last date.


Lennart Lundh is a poet, author, and historian. It’s been forty-six years since his first date with his wife, which didn’t include a Belmondo movie and was certainly not their last.

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Issue 4 - Beginnings and Endings