On Saturday, Mr. Ben and I went up to Chappaqua where his father, in an expansive mood, was hosting a party for MDs who can hold their liquor. At one point I found myself out on the patio with a small crowd of them, all women.
Russian #1: How is your novel?
Russian #2: It has a happy ending, no? After all, you are American.
All Russians: [Laugh]
I admitted that yes, my book has a relatively happy ending. They cut me with their eyes, then began talking with each other about ballet.
A half-sloshed neurologist told me about his new apartment and his new wife. "I've had three of these already," he said, holding up his vodka glass. "I plan to get drunk."
"I'll be right back!" I replied, escaping.
I ended the evening playing ping pong in the basement with a seven-year-old who looked like a Hanson. He told me he was from Maui and that I was 35. Neither of these things turned out to be true, but he was very convincing.