Helen Ferris obviously took great pleasure in listening to Nachman, and yet, in the center of her rapt, almost delirious focus, Nachman saw a curious blank spot, as if she were not conversing so much as savoring. Her brown eyes devoured his, and her smile suggested a rictus in its unrelieved tension and shape. This intensity, and her alarming red lipstick, made Nachman think she wanted to eat him. A smile is a primitive expression, he supposed, carried in the genes, the reflexive anticipation of a meal—not necessarily of people, but who knows the ancestral diet? Nachman smiled in response, but felt no desire to eat her.

—Leonard Michaels, Cryptology