Fashion model Coal Blackstone lay naked in the arms of her photographer-lover, Lincoln Ford—this was one of their weeks to be together—who was, curiously, fully dressed in jeans and his Givenchy Mechanical Graphic Print shirt, a shirt that made him look as if he were wearing interlocking planes of circuit-board.
     Coal ran a tapering index finger from button to button down his chest, pausing at his belt buckle.
     “Why do you like this shirt?” she asked him.
     “For the same reason I like you,” he replied.
     “For its complexity, then?” she laughed.  “For its rationality?  Its dazzling specificity?”
     Linc smirked and gave her bare shoulders an affectionate teddy-bear squeeze.
      “Because I find it funny,” he grinned.
     “It makes you look robotic.”
     “And we both know how far from the truth that is,” he said, stoking her shining blue-black hair tenderly.
     Coal poked him with unnecessary vigour in the stomach.  He was just going to poke her back when the Samsung Galaxy S4 on his night table rang. 
     “It’s for you,” he said handing her the device, “It’s your friend Joy.”
     “Joy? At this hour?”
     “She sounds very upset.”
     “Hi Joy,” said Coal.  “Is there something the matter?”
     Linc signed her a declaration that he was going to the kitchen to make espresso.  She nodded at him and smiled encouragement.
     “Haven’t you seen the news or looked at your phone or read this morning’s paper or anything?”
     “No.  Linc and I were out late last night and we just woke up.  Why, what’s wrong?”
     Yesterday, just before noon, somebody tried to run Cass down with a car—a big black limousine.”
     “Is he alright?”
     “He’s fine, by some miracle or other.  But the car clipped one of his aides, and he’s in the hospital.”
     “Did anybody notice what kind of a car it was?” Coal asked her.  It was a question Joy found marginal enough to be irritating.
     “Cass knew.  He said it was a black 1956 Chrysler Imperial.  He likes cars and so he knew.  He said it was the one with the gun-sight taillights, whatever that’s supposed to mean.”
     “Well, it’s just that those cars are pretty rare,” Coal told her.  “Listen, is Cass feeling well enough for me to see him.  Or is he too shaken en up?”
     “No, he’s okay.  I’m sure he’d like to talk with you.  I’ll set up a time and phone you back.” And she hung up.
     Just then, Linc came back into the bedroom, carrying a small silver tray which bore two tiny cups of espresso.  And two miniature biscotti. 
     “Anything amiss?” he asked her, setting the tray on the might table.
     “The Mayor almost got run over.”
Linc laughed. 
     “He really ought to look where he’s going!”
     Coal took a sip of espresso and a nibble of biscotti.
     “That’s not what I meant,” she told him.

     Michael woke up staring up at the exuberant figure of Modulor Man, in the Le Corbusier lithograph May had hung over the bed.  Michael gazed in admiration at the figure’s noble hand raised high over his head in…what? Michael wondered.  Defiance?  Defiance of some onrush of mediocrity rumbling towards him out of the future?
     May rubbed her eyes gently and sat up, her long, straight, ink-black hair drifting slowly down over her creamy shoulders, arms and breasts.  Michael found he was all-too-easily able to disengage from his bout of Corbusier-rapture.  He looked at May and couldn’t quite believe the endless delicacy of which she was composed.
     “The nakedness of woman is the work of God,” Michael intoned smoothly, giving her a low-comedy kiss on the top of the head.  “Good morning, Naked Woman.”
     May smiled sleepily.
     “Who wrote that line about the nakedness of woman?” she asked him.
     “William Blake.  It’s in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
     “Do you think It’s true?’ May asked him through a decorous yawn.
     “No question.”
     “Does Blake say anything about the nakedness of Man?’ she asked, all the while reaching slowly, questingly, down under the duvet to his belly, then lower, letting her hand rest, with apparent innocence, just above the reach of his now pulsing cock.  Michael managed a strangled reply.
     “No,” he told her.
     “Oh” said May, in mock disappointment. “Well, that doesn’t seem fair.”
     I guess not,” Michael ventured, wishing and not wishing that she’d move her hand either upwards or more purposefully downwards. 
     “I think he felt men were simply beneath his notice.”
     “Imagine,” murmured May, first kissing his cheek for what seemed to Michael an inordinately long time, and then giving him a short but delectable, soft, open-mouthed kiss. After which, she sprang back from him, her dark eyes still full of purpose.  Michael felt as if she’d suddenly cut off his oxygen supply.
     “Duty calls!” she said briskly.
     “It does?” said Michael, trying very hard to recalibrate his priorities.
     “I have to get dressed, I have to eat two slices of buttered toast with cottage cheese, and drink some black coffee. Then I have to go to school and learn more about becoming an architect!”
     “Listen,” Michael told her, “stay here in bed with me and together we’ll stare hard at your beautiful Le Corbusier, and get very familiar with his Modulor, and the ways in which he recommended the use the human body as a tool of measurement, and in a couple of hours, after we’ve measured each other with great and delectable  thoroughness—following Corb’s lead—we’ll have given each other more architectural adrenalin by noon than any College in the world can provide!  What do you say?”
     “Michael Michael,” she said wonderingly.
     “Michael Michael what?”
     “You must have something you have to do today as well?”
     Michael thought for a moment, trying to remember.  Then he did—and wished he hadn’t.
     “There is something?” asked May, beginning to prepare the coffee.
     “Yes,” he told her glumly.  “I’ve got to go and see this brutish artist who paints like an Old Master/”
     “He does?” she asked him, pouring coffee into two petal-thin cups. 
     “He really does.  It’s improbable, but true.”
     “I wish I were going with you.”
     Michael groaned audibly at the whole idea.
     “No you don’t” he assured her.