As Good as Could Be

I hadn’t slept for two nights, and when I came home after work I found a message from Rachel on my answering machine. Rachel lived in Vancouver, and this was the first time I’d heard from her in months. So I called her back, left a message on her machine. Four hours later, when the phone rang, I thought it was her, but it was my boss, Jack, wondering if I wanted to go flying. But he wanted a bite to eat first. He wanted a cinnamon roll. “At that place downtown. The one you like so much. With that fat opera singer–looking lady and the dirty-mouthed parrot—”

“Earhart’s,” I said.

“That’s the one.”

By now it was all over the hospital that Jack was leaving his wife, Annie, for a woman he’d met at a conference in California. At Earhart’s Jack was sitting in the corner. He was talking on the kind of brick-sized cell phone we had back then and writing things down. Sally emerged from the back carrying a trayful of muffins. “Out of the way, please!” she said to one of her staff, and to me she said, “Your friend with the walkie-talkie just came up and said hello. He’s married, isn’t he?”

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