In the den she opened the liquor cabinet and looked at an assortment of bottles she could have sworn had been at the same levels since 1987. She sat on the couch where she had read while her father watched the Academy Awards. There was an ashtray on the side table. Nobody, as far as she could remember had ever smoked in the house, not even Bob’s big brother, Manny. Next to the ashtray were a lamp, a phone (not wireless), and a Rolodex. A Rolodex.
Anne flipped through the cards. She remembered catching hell on one of her pre-teen visits for calling, in quick succession, a bunch of luminary “B’s”… Bacall, Beatty, Brooks (Albert and Mel), and someone only noted as Billy with a German accent that had picked up and chatted affably until asking to speak to her father. She looked for Billy’s card. It was still there. In her father’s hand and in various inks it noted a birthday, included a quote, “If you’re going to tell people the truth, be funny or they’ll kill you,” and finished with the date March 27, 2002. Billy must have been Billy Wilder.