"Three years ago, when my son was still in college and my daughter lived across the Bay, my wife packed her car with her clothes and things, discussed with me her reasons for taking half the savings and, after a farewell which I cannot recall verbatim, she left..." In this short story, which won a Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award, a retired schoolteacher in his sunset years, gets his first glimpse at the failures in his life, cracking a window open to everything and everyone outside.
Pete - an impetuous, avowedly self-absorbed writer - and Dave - a pithy banker with a "genius for generosity" - had maintained a close friendship since their first days at college. They stood as Best Man for each other; they are godfathers to each other's sons. That bond cracks during one visit in their mid-30s, and since then neither can say with any satisfaction why. In their ensuing letters, both men begin speaking with a candor they never shared face-to-face,