Their friends that year were Marina and Gerald Troy. She was an actress- she had played in Strindberg – her eyes were a piercing blue. She was rich. There was nothing recent in this wealth, it shone in everything: her skin, her fine smile. She went to the gymnasium three times a week, to an old Greek named Leon; his arms were still strong at eighty, his hair pure white.
Nedra began to go too. She had always been indifferent to sports, but from the first hours in the emptiness of the main room with its soiled windows above the traffic, the devoutness of the old man, the companionship, she felt she belonged to it. The showers were clean; the spareness, the green walls appealed to her. Her body awakened, she was suddenly aware that within it, as if existing by themselves, there were deep feelings of strength. When it was extended, hung upside down, when the muscles beneath were warm and loose, when she felt like a young runner, she realized how much she could love this body, this vessel which would one day betray her – no, she did not believe that; the opposite, in fact. There were times she felt its immortality: on cool mornings, summer nights alone lying naked on top of the covers, in baths, while dressing, before love, in the sea, when limb-weary and ready to sleep.
- James Salter