"To be alone with her. She ashed her cigarettes and put them out in an empty Coke she had been drinking, and when I bit into the sandwich, she said:"

"To be alone with her" - Does it just describe a situation? However, the author said above that the main character is alone with her.

  • Yes, it's fine, it's a well-known, sort of cliche, turn of phase. But yes, you can be alone with someone, and then you can be alone together. I don't understand how this relates to your title "Infinite in literature". Can you clarify?
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 11:21
  • 1
    Perhaps the title should be "infinitive in literature".
    – GEdgar
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


You need to look at this in a larger context:

It was the first time I could remember they were depending on Leonie to look after me. After Michael left with Big Joseph, it felt weird to sit across the table from Leonie and make a fried potato sandwich while she stared off into space and crossed her legs and kicked her feet, let cigarette smoke seep out of her lips and wreathe her head like a veil, even though Mam and Pop hated when she smoked in the house. To be alone with her.

The marked infinitive you ask about, "to be", parallels the previous marked infinitive "to sit" and in effect is conjoined with it as a complement of weird:

It felt weird to sit ... to be alone with her.

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