I could have told him no, that sometimes even I didn’t eat in the morning, and that I knew many people who didn’t eat more than once a day, and that all over the world it was the same, etcetera, but I couldn’t speak ill to him of an American where I had never been and that, after all, wasn’t even American, was nothing real, concrete, but his idea of the reign of heaven on earth. I couldn’t do it; it wouldn’t have been right.

“I think so,” I answered. “One way or another…”

“And at miday?” he asked then. “Does everyone eat in the evening, in America?”

“I think so,” I said. “Well or poorly…”

“Bread?” he asked. “Bread and cheese?” Bread and vegetables and cheese? Bread and meat?”

He was talking to me so hopefully I could no longer say no to him.

“Yes,” I said. “Bread and other things.”