They tried force, one then another. I work, said one. Sex, joked a second. A certain movie, the third. The women at the other tables were like starlight, blue and keen, out of reach. The space among them, over the hot sauce and napkin pile, was the only true thing. Lonely, it said and, Why do we want? The men had no choice but to confront their silverware, the jabbing at and eating of small, masked admission. The evening wore on. Perhaps there was time. They needed some way out, through the jaws of their coffee cups or the last lowering of hands.