We had not expected to land here. People ended up in New Brunswick, North Carolina, a glazed sprawl of about fifty thousand people, after they were fired or got divorced, or decided to end their days somewhere warm. Many had a dazed quality, walking around blinking, in the clear air that smelled, oddly, of a swamp. They were thinking: Is this where my life has led? Where do I go now? How long do I have to live, anyway?

Our story was the usual sad story of our current era.

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