and Bree were rear-ended on Route 1 by Sterne Clough, driving his brother’s Ford pickup. He groped under his arm with his good hand, but felt only sweat. It was as if someone had clamped an ice bag under his right armpit. Your body pulled all sorts of tricks on you when you turned sixty, and now he was seventy-four, so those tricks were less like pranks and more like extended jokes.It was distracting to have to stand there scowling at the damage while his armpit felt like a smoldering coal.Maybe later he could run a bamboo stick through a piece of steak and cook it in there.Nellie Sue is back with brand-new dancing boots and her usual cowgirl flair.
Maybe it was a little maudlin, but he liked watching his old home disappear into the darkness every night, and he liked equally well the interior lights on either side of the second story that came on at dusk and remained lit until 10 .He’d wanted to stay in their house, but the cliché was true. With the settlement check, he’d bought a smaller place, across the river from their old house, in a location that Donna would have loved.He’d got rid of a lot of their books—her cookbooks, along with her collection of poetry books, which he’d donated to Smith—but he still had a few left, and the new house had no built-in bookcases or built-in anything, so he’d kept an eye out for useful shelving at Leeward Landing Thrift Store, where lovely furniture appeared at the end of each summer.He always brought it back with a full tank of gas, even if there’d been only a quarter tank to begin with.In the house the bookcase looked smaller than Bradley had expected. She needed the money, because her babysitting job disappeared.”The Randolphs, Bill and Margie, had been Bradley and Donna’s neighbors on Seagull Way.
The same substance he’d disdained in college—all three colleges he’d attended, starting with Michigan and ending with Bates, and not even a degree to show for any of it after seven chaotic years. She’d insisted that they go out and enjoy the lovely summer evening; she’d even thought to make a reservation for them at Mombo. & T., even though the tonic had been borderline flat. The noise level was atrocious, but after a while you got used to it.