We drove by another billboard: “Ted Lempert for State Senate.”
“Ted Lempert,” Lidiya mused, then turned to me. “Who is this Ted Lempert?”
I said that I didn’t know, but that I thought he wanted to be a senator.
“Hmm,” she said. “Lempert. I knew a Lempert once—an artist. His name was Vladimir. Vladimir Lempert.”
“Oh,” I said, trying to think of something to say. “I’m reading a novel by Balzac now about somebody called Louis Lambert.” I tried to say “Lambert” to sound like “Lempert”.
We drove the rest of the way to the hotel in silence.
i enjoyed this
also, noticed another diff between the print version & the web version: the print version got rid of " but I guess the connection was still pretty weak" before the last sentence (the final result is way stronger and more deadpan imo)