Arkady set a table of brown bread, cheese, tea and cigarettes and sat facing the radio as if it had come to dinner.
Listening, he found himself leaning toward the radio. He felt ridiculous, as if he should be holding up his side of the con-versation.
The news was not important; he hardly heard it. It was her voice and breath transmitted across a thousand miles.
She was Scheherazade, Arkady thought. Night after night she could tell him tales of oppression, insurrection, strikes, and natural disasters, and he would listen as if she were spinning stories of exotic lands, magical spices, flashing scimitars and pearl-eyed dragons with scales of gold. As long as she would talk to him.
—Martin Cruz Smith, Red Square