Having three names seemed natural to her — first one from her family, second for writing, and last to be exhaled by lovers into her ear during those intoxicating hours when she could hold them in thrall in the palm of her hand. Like the name of God, her third name was exclaimed in darkness, staccato, almost incoherent, and upon first daylight forgotten. It was as if they were speaking in tongues, and in each lover this invariably produced a brief moment of confusion followed by slight embarrassment with eventual acceptance. They would shrug it off with the last vestiges of her touch as they got out of her bed and transformed themselves into power-suited stiletto-brandishing emblems of industrial achievement.
She would watch them semi-recumbent covered with her white Egyptian cotton 1000-thread-count sheet, head cocked to one side, a brown curl with occasional grey falling on her face, brown eyes squinted in myopic effort, and wonder at their breathing contradictions. Like Bertrand Russell, she disliked paradoxes, but in her effort to live more harmoniously, had to accept them, albeit reluctantly. She understood that what seemed a paradox today might lose its contours tomorrow and disappear altogether in not too distant future. She was, after all, an observer of life, a cataloguer and a curator of the human condition, undeniably her own, her third name a testament.