Klinsman wished Rita hadn’t mentioned Edwige Fenech back at Café Cinema because here the trolley was soaring above the land of his youth, where the old ranches and horse farms were now buried under the orange sodium lights of cheap subdivisions and strip malls with dollar stores in them. In his youth he’d read books in his room by the light of a TV, almost always set to Channel 12, almost always after 2 a.m., when he would wake for good and then wrestle insomnia until dawn. There were the Santo movies. And then there were the Italian giallos, dubbed twice-removed into Spanish, so out of sync that the voices seemed to float between the actors like noise clouds, sometimes drifting so far as to put women’s voices over men’s lips. But whenever Edwige Fenech appeared on screen, Aaron would thumb his place in whatever book he was reading. He would hear her voice or her music or catch the startling dark-pale contrast of her and sense that he should look up. Some of the giallos were haphazardly edited for television, but many passed through unconcerned Mexican censors. Who would watch Canal Doce at 2 a.m.? Back then, Aaron felt he was the only one.

It must be hard to live with another writer. What’s the worst thing about it?

We’ve managed not to succumb to the jealousy and insecurity that wrecks more successful writer couples, so we’re going to say the long initial period of straight-up poverty. The key is to have separate studies and agents—two things we learned the hard way. We do share an editor these days (the sent-from-heaven Fred Ramey at Unbridled Books), but he respects that we are different writers and different people.