My wife wanted to go, a spiritual getaway on Scripture, as planned by the bishops. It did what it was supposed to do, aroused slumbering thoughts on the purpose of my life (had I succeeded, failed?) and I drew the happy conclusion that Providence (fate) had saved me from a colossal debacle, with an opportunity at an exhilarating triumph.
There was a hitch, though. The place was St. Aidan’s Church in Williston Park, a beautiful church designed with eons old acoustics in mind, and I had difficulty hearing the speaker, who was using a modern loudspeaker system. But never mind, I rested in my own thoughts — I’d forgotten how satisfying they could be.
As a novelist, my goal was to reach as many readers as I could. The bottom line was the IRS form listing my royalties. I was going to buy my wife a villa on the Riviera with the money, in Europe, I told her all the time. I said I was just waiting for my ship to come in (an old New England expression, no doubt). Well, when she enters the Pearly Gates she’ll see a message from me: “I have ships galore. Meet me at the docks.”