• In the past seven years of love-making he had heard the words "I love you" so many times: from the mouths of widows and children, from prostitutes, family friends, travelers, and adulterous wives. Women said "I love you" without his ever speaking. "The more you love someone," he came to think, "the harder it is to tell them." It surprised him that strangers didn't stop each other on the street to say "I love you".