I have had nightmares all my life. I do not know if this is unusual. But sometime late last September, when the leaves were on the verge of turning, and the sun was still strong in the afternoons, I started sleeping the night through. Gone were the two A.M. sweats; the late nights surfing the Net; flipping channels to catch a movie at four A.M.
It felt like happiness.
I stood on the front porch of a gray stone cottage on a gentrified and tree-lined street. I held a newly made key in my right hand, a bucket of paint in my left. The wind blew rain at my back and a sudden gust toppled the Sold sign in the middle of...