I saw a rose in a glass on the table — the sugar pink of its obvious beauty, the parasitic air bubbles clinging to its stem. Her two spare dresses were gone, her comb was gone, her chequered coat was gone, and so was the mauve hair-band with a mauve bow that had been her hat. Ther was no note pinned to the pillow, nothing at all in the room to enlighten me, for of course the rose was merely what French rhymsters call ''une cheville''.

Vladimir Nabokov, "That in Aleppo once…", in Nabokov's Dozen