... I was standing beside his bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear, with a great portfolio in his hands.Reeling, because I'm confronted with a man in his underwear. But he's in bed, sitting up between the sheets, so his underpants aren't really the issue. It's more of a way to say T-shirt, don't you think? He's looking at a portfolio, and there are quote marks around Beauty and the Beast... Loneliness... Old Grocery Horse... Brook’n Bridge... so that's him talking, naming the photographs in the portfolio.
"Beauty and the Beast... Loneliness... Old Grocery Horse... Brook’n Bridge...." Pictures of old New York, it seems. The Brooklyn Bridge, we understand. What's a "grocery horse"? A horse pulling a wagon full of groceries. Beauty and the Beast — perhaps this very man with his woman. And loneliness, that's as universal and abstract as you can get, completely the opposite of a man sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear.