The woman from another lifetime had sent him the surprise she’d hinted at. He waited before unwrapping the cardboard package until he had walked back to the high-rise co-op, an interminable distance from the Post Office on East Broadway. In the package was a recording of Marlene Dietrich singing “Lili Marlene.” He held the disc so the sun shone on the Deutsche Grammofon label, marveled at the shiny shellac, and felt as satisfied as he had been in months.
From the corner of his eye he saw the girl from the 16th floor watching expectantly, waiting to be recognized. She nodded and he slid over on the park bench so she could sit down.