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These are, you understand, just inflection points, the ones that shape the arc of my plot.

Fact: All of these stories are true.

Fiction: These stories are the only truth.

This summer, two years ago, is our musical summer, capped at the end with Van Morrison on your 50th birthday.

Early in the summer we venture downtown to the river, on a glorious night, on a date (this sounds ridiculous), while our children are away.

We run into friends (my friends, but also your friends) who ask about our children, and about us. They tell us about their children, who are grown, and about the flood in their house and all the mess it has caused.

We have known this couple almost the entire time we’ve lived here.

You are talking to the wife, the lawyer, about home repairs. I am talking to the husband, the artist, about you. He says: Did you ever think we’d all be standing here, the four of us, having this conversation, still in Memphis? (I did not.)

The lights flash, we gather our things and head to our respective seats. They’re good people, you say, as our friends walk the other direction. And I think how like a dog you are in this way, with a keen sense of everyone around you.

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