Robert Avranche, a garage owner who's often in an alcoholic stupor, is on a train thinking that nothing good ever happens to him. A young woman enters the compartment and tells him a story - about the two of them - then offers him sex. She leaves at the next station; he follows her and clings. She's Donatienne, languid, bored, sad, sleeping with many men but in love with a one who's indifferent. Robert insists on living with her. She calls his friends to remove him. He's obdurate. Neighbors stare. Is this farce or fairy tale? Robert and Donatienne tell each other stories, writing themselves in and out. Will he sober up; will she smile? Whose story is it, and how might it end?