I frowned and nodded my head, what I always do when I don’t quite hear what someone says and am not bothered to ask them to repeat themselves. It’s a noncommittal gesture that doesn’t fool anyone except myself, if I think I can get away with it. With nothing else to say, the conversation went on to other things remotely connected to her.
I sensed the chance to ask about the picture. Its how it works in conversation, something leads to another to whatever that’s connected to what you need to know, like how everyone knows each other’s someone or other, the world’s so small, and everyone’s doing each other like they do on friends. He continued on, and with each pause, someone else could interrupt to take the conversation further from where I wanted it. I considered, and quickly snatched at one of the pauses that came up. But he looked puzzled, and I had to self-consciously repeat myself. The head was tilted away just enough. The tone of voice, did it reveal more than it should? Had I given cause for suspicion by waiting too long to ask? I picked up my wallet and shifted it just a bit further to the right.