When telling a story, it’s important to know where to begin. Do you start at the temporal beginning, the moment when, confronted with an idea so mind-bogglingly awesome, so blindingly obvious in retrospect that it must be the work of genius that you lose the power of speech? Or do you start at the other end, a day later, with the moment of truth when that idea faces reality and your own personal test begins? Or do you approach the story sideways, beginning with the thought that defines what it all means?
Or do you find three sentences, one for each of those moments, and let them tell the entire story — a tiny play in three acts:
“Peanut butter banana bread,” she said.
She set the two slices of banana bread — one chocolate, the other peanut butter — in front of me and said, “I really need you to be objective for a minute.”
I laughed and said, “I didn’t think I could love you more than I already did until you said, ‘peanut butter banana bread.'”