-- They both laughed at that, at the little joke I'd made. On a whim, without pausing to ponder how funny my remark might be, to wonder if I'd make a fool of myself. They went on laughing a little too long, I realized; laughing at themselves, I suppose, at their delight in each other.
The thought of the two of them tucked away in that dark room where soon enough you understood everything that happened or could happen inside it, what you could expect, day by day. The cycle of things, the routine. And yet. It dawned on me that this was how they fell in love. Sharing a worker's specialized knowledge, a secret from the outside world, a secret of life under the dim light of hanging bulbs, the shadow cast by the rice-paper wrapped around them; an indescribable smell, the pip pip of newly hatched chicks. Girls here, boys there. It was simple, really.