Fifteen questions, spoken with a pause between each one and nary an answer in return, can be rattled off non-hurriedly in under a minute. That was the case last fall when I had a chance public encounter with the mother of my three estranged sons, from whom I and the rest of my clan haven't heard a single word in over eight years.
I asked her five questions about each son.
Is he alive?
Is he well?
Is he married?
Does he have children?
Where does he live?
She met each question with stony silence, to match her heart. I added a comment at the end, "That's information any parent would give the other," and then said as I walked away, "I'm sorry for you."
There were several other persons present, including her current husband. Happy birthday, Jim.
I'll bet anything that he knows the answers to those fifteen questions. Somehow I don't think he's an independent actor though.
He was walking alongside of the mother of my children as the two of them, and five or six other people, were walking a German Shepherd when I asked her these basic questions about our children, so he obviously heard the questions too. And his silence to an anguished father was as stony as hers.