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summarized the high points. It took fi fteen minutes. Toward the end he found himself drawing the story out, enjoying the novelty of having Roger listen to him for a change. When he was done, Roger said, “I can’t imagine pulling all of that out of him and then having him die. It’s like the old myth of the killing joke, only not funny, and turned in on itself.” “Ruth blames me for him dying.” “Yeah, she would do, wouldn’t she? He was all she had.” “I don’t know how to respond to her. We’ve never been physically comfortable around each other, you know? Even when I was a kid. That’s not a good basis for a mother- son relationship, and it doesn’t give us a lot to go on now.” Michael paused and then said, “There is one more wrinkle. It turns out she is related to me after all.” He told Roger about Harriman’s revelation. “Christ, this is amazing, isn’t it? Hang on, let me get some of this down.” “Get it down?” “Just a few notes.” “I thought you were here to give me moral support.” “I am. Without question. You have to admit,
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