At some point things started going way too well for me. I was twenty-four years old, living in Boston, doing advanced research at the world's fifth-largest software company, and dating a woman who had rowed at Harvard and done postgraduate work at Oxford.
How had this happened? I didn't dare ask. I do not believe in God, but I do believe there is an order to things, an energy that holds the world together; and maybe somehow I had tapped into that. On warm autumn afternoons I would ride my bike along the Charles, past the rowers and joggers, past the cars caught in traffic, past the brownstones and boathouses and rusty...