I was in people-pleasing mode with Simone for a few reasons. She was exceptionally beautiful; her complex ethnicity—particularly the Frenchness—also greatly appealed to me. She opened worlds to me—Tel Aviv, the night, the sea, maybe even Paris one of these months.

And then there was my side of it. Divorced for seven years, with a few failed affairs behind me, I treated the relationship with Simone like a precious plate perched on a shelf. I thought that if I honored her every whim, made sure not to cross her in any way, the plate could be kept there and wouldn’t fall.