Author's note: One of the least useful tasks that a person of my years might undertake is to ask how differently he or she should have done this or that in the past. Even so, the author of the second-last piece in this book, when he was hardly younger than I am now, chose to ask himself just that question. He answered it by declaring that he should never have tried to write novels or novellas or short stories but should have allowed each piece of his fiction to find its own way to its natural end. The author's conjecturing is futile, of course, but it has inspired me to make an even bolder declaration. I should never have tried to write fiction or non-fiction or even anything in-between. I should have left it to discerning editors to publish all my pieces of writing as essays.