Charm was the luxury of those who still believed in the essential rightness of things. In purity and picket fences.

I believe in God. Maybe not the Catholic God or even the Christian one because I have a hard time seeing any God as elitist. I also have a hard time believing that anything that created rain forests and oceans and an infinite universe would, in the same process, create something as unnatural as humanity in its own image. I believe in God, but not as a he or she or an it, but as something that defines my ability to conceptualize within the rather paltry frames of reference I have on hand.

The sound of her breathing reminded me, as it so often did, of how vulnerable she was. And how vulnerable we were because of how much we loved her. The fear – that something could happen to her at any moment, something I’d be helpless to stop – had become so omnipresent in my life that I sometimes pictured it growing, like a third arm, out of the center of my chest.

At that moment, Dave would have lifted a house for Jimmy, held it up to his chest until Jimmy told him where to put it down.

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