“A part of me will always be sick, too, for a person I came to know, also in Manchester, during those same years. When the Baptist church, of which she was a member, was without a minister one winter, I took the services every Sunday for a few months, and that was how we met. She was a woman well on into her seventies, very thin, very stooped. She had been married a number of times, and for years, as a widow, had been living alone, on welfare, in the one small apartment left inhabitable in a house that had been gutted by fire a few years earlier. Shaking hands at the church door after the service one Sunday morning, I had said to her–neither expecting nor much caring about an answer–‘How are you?’ and she looked up at me out of her wry, beleaguered old face and said, ‘As well as can be expected.’ Just that and no more, then made her way down the steps and out into the cold.” (>>)