Note:  The names of my friends have been changed to protect their privacy, even though they probably don’t care.

Before we left the library, I walked A back to the reading room to show her the huge windowsill full of potted geraniums, the stone wall outside, and the view beyond—past another stone wall, a field, and a barn—to the mountains. We spoke softly even though we were the only ones there. On the wall a rack of magazines, the sort of thing that gets me all excited about some future time—never right now—when I’ll come and spend a whole afternoon or morning sitting and reading magazines. My wife had been stymied in her attempt to print bank statements. Logging on from an unknown device requires, of course, a verification code, which is sent via text message to one’s phone, which, sadly, never can receive them while in Craftsbury. How we’ve managed to get this far in buying a home is a testament to our ingenuity. It seems you’re not supposed to be able to function in modern society without cellphone service. Walking out, she asked if I’d printed my documents and I said no, I emailed them. “Oh,” she said. “Well I can email them from my computer at home… I thought we came here for printing”. “We did,” I said, “but then as I downloaded the PDF I realized that I could just email it to her. She’s going to be uploading it or emailing it anyway… it’s not like she’s going to walk it down the street to the bank” (Apparently, our lender doesn’t actually give us the fake money for our home—they go to the big bank and get it for us. They both get paid, of course, but it’s the big bank that will get our interest payment for the next 30 years—all $122,000 of it.)

Fully successful or not, it was all terribly pleasant in the warm evening, surrounded by the sweet Spring air, and we took our time getting back in the car, kept the windows down, and rolled out the gravel drive to the pavement and down to the village. We passed a friend’s house and noticed another friend’s car. “Are they hanging out without me?” I wondered.

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