Nineteen years earlier Arnold had left his wife, Marie, his daughter, Rose, and his little boy, Arnold Jr. As they slept, he blew them kisses from the sidewalk, then climbed into his Subaru and drove off as quietly as an old car with a rotting muffler would allow. As the rhythm of the road got to him, the steady hum of the tires, the long white center lines passing beneath him, the constant rise and fall of light as he passed beneath the streetlights, he thought of returning maybe in a week, maybe in a month. On the radio, two men with sonorous voices and all the time in the world discussed war, politics, the deadly serious side of life. Then many miles on he arrived at a new life, a new job at a factory, and an apartment with a tiny porch from which to view the world, a place where he felt the opposite of extraneous.

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