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A block west is a seafood restaurant where I probably had my last martini with a good friend who remains close. Across the street is the library, the first library where I ever saw my first book, that is, one I had written, shelved. In front of me is the restaurant where a long friendship recently came to a seemingly irreparable end. Lord, that is a shame, and, I suppose, my fault. I don't know.

On the walk back, I began counting white picket fences. Eleven all told, in a few blocks. Each fence represents some version of what has been loosely called the American Dream and each a reminder of Tolstoy's observation about families each being unhappy in their own inventive ways.

On returning home, putting my key in the door, I remembered not that I had left the stove on or the air conditioner going or forgotten to return a call or that I should have sought out something more interesting and dynamic to write about for this Friday night, and why I might want to thank God about something as absurd as the day of the week. I remembered, oh yeah, that I am rich.

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