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Susan left this morning to drive her daughter to Charleston and spend the weekend checking on our house there, which means that Frodo Baggins, the (nearly) two-year old Irish terrier, and I have resumed the quiet bachelor life in our tiny Raleigh apartment.  Aside from a brief flurry of activity at breakfast (eggs, sausage, black coffee), it has been strangely still. A shower for me would have been a pointless extravagance.  A half-bath and shave were more than adequate for the needs of the day.

At times like these, Frodo and I become two pottering old men, moving distractedly through the hours, sleeping and eating now and then.  The TV cabinet remains shuttered, for fear I might be lured into a Netflix haze from which I might not emerge before Sunday.  Instead, I read or write while Frodo lies on his back half on and half off the couch, paws in the air, legs akimbo, in the most ridiculous pose of unapologetic sloth.

We did have a brief encounter with civilization in a two-mile walk at noon around Lake Lynn.  I try to make an effort to smile and say hello to the people we pass on the nature trail, if only to remind myself that I am part of the human race.  It’s easy to forget that when you’re alone in a one-bedroom apartment on a Saturday in the summer.   That is, after all, the chief reason why I write this journal—to remind myself and tell others that I am here below, in the quiet world, while the stars turn silently in their orbits above, and that all is well.