Here’s the opener:
Do you think people love the truth? Do you think the truth builds houses? The man with the gray mustache was eating Gorgonzola cheese on toast points while he told the young woman about his travels in Africa, Cambodia and Vietnam.
–People are more alike than they are different, he said. They all want to talk to us, even though we are American. We are only a small part of their bad history. The young woman looked for something on the table that would not fall apart when she bit into it. Not the stuffed tomatoes, not the crab cakes. A plain piece of cheese?
–They were digging tunnels to undermine the French, long before we showed up, he said. Dusk was falling outside the picture window screened by ferns.
–Be sure to tour the garden before you go, said a short wrinkled woman in a tie-dyed gown. Frank and George are so proud of their garden.
–And this is my wife, said the man with the gray mustache. The young woman complimented the wife’s dress, which was purple with starbursts like the red-hearted coleus leaves along the cobbled path to the house. Great, she thought, the only two straight couples at this party and we’re talking to each other.