W’aricn completed his doctoral workrnat Cambridge a couple of years beforernmc and rccentK’ published an expandedrnersion of his tlicsis with Oxford UniversitrnPress, lie is spending the currentrncar as a research fellow at some Harvardrninstitute, living with his wife and childrenrnin Somcrville. It will be good to seernthem.rnTheir apartment is small, ugly, ovcrlicated,rnand expensive. Warren, Milly,rnand I eat and catch up w ith one another.rnWarren enjovs Boston and the instituternto which he is attached, but is amazed atrnthe ix)or |3a’. Nhllv, who doesn’t care forrnbig cities as a rule, feels a bit isolated andrnmisses her job in I’.ngland, but she is notrnunhap]). rhe have just had their secondrnchild, a girl, who lies slecjjing in arncrib. Warren says he will applv for whaterner jobs are available at Northymerieanrnuniersitics while thev are liere. Butrnthere are few openings in his discipline,rnso thc expect to return to Britain bv ear-rnK summer.rnWe are all tired, so at 10:00 P.M. I getrnup to leae. Warren takes the elevatorrndown with me to the cramped lobb. Wernshake hands and offer each other partingrnwords of encouragement. Wc wonderrnwhere our ])aths will next converge.rnIt is l)rce/ but mild as I walk back tornthe subwa station. Red Line, GreenrnI ,ine, out at Cople Sc]uarc. Back in thernhotel room, I turn on KSPN. Enimittrnturns u|3 an hour later with a bottle ofrnboiubon. re never developed a taste forrntliis stuff, but I accept a glass, on thernrocks. 1 Ic shares with nie a conversationrnthat he had earlier in the evening with arnwoman ,it the AFA Smoker. Noting thatrnof the 11 candidates shortlisted for a po-rn.sition at her respected New York college,rnsex’cn were women, she concluded withrnsmug trium]5h, “I can’t see this job goingrnto a man. “rnh’mmitt and I conservatielv estimaternthat women candidates are outnumberedrnhere bv four or five to one. “Sevenrnout of eleven,” I repeat groggilv, andrnreport to him the happv debut of Phoebernfrom Winnipeg. I take a stiff swig ofrnbourbon and spend the next few minutesrnwetK convulsing.rnDevcnilxr 2′)th, tnornmg: After wakingrnand washing, k’.mmitt and 1 sa goodbvc.rnI le is off for the first of two davs of conductingrnintcrx’icws of candidates forrna philosopin of science position at hisrnuiiiersit in Kansas. B the time he getsrnl)ack, I’ll begone.rnI phone Cicvhouiid to get departurerntimes for the Boston-Portland bus. Allrnalong I’d been planning on taking thernlast bus tonight or an ead one tomorrow.rnNow is the time, however, to bringrnmv affairs here to a marginallv dignifiedrnclose. I decide on the 4:00 P.M. bus. Irnscribble two postcards to my girlfriend,rnone of the Quiney Market in winter, thernother a summer sunset in Boston I larbor.rnWe were both hoping for big thingsrnin Boston. She’ll be as disappointed as Irnam.rnAt about noon, the phone rings. It’srnGold, who held a sessional appointmentrnin the same department where I’d taughtrnpart-time the previous vear. We arrangernto meet for lunch. Half an hour later,rnwe’re together in the Westin working ourrnway through bowls of buttery clam chowder.rnHe appears to have done reasonablyrnwell here, delivering a paper and beingrninterviewed for two philosophy jobs inrnthe Southwest.rnIn mid-gulp, I spot a familiar facernwhose eves catch mine just in time. It’srnVincent, a friend from Montreal andrnCambridge. 1 laving finished his doctoraternand, more recently, a research fellowshiprnat Jesus College, he is eager tornreturn to North America. So far, he’srnbeen turned down for interviews eerywhcrc,rnexcept for one this afternoonrnwith Mar]and. We update one anotherrnabout mutual friends in Vancouver andrnHalifax. Then he’s on his way.rnCord kindly offers to drive mc to thernbus station, so I retrieve my belongingsrnfrom my room and meet him down atrnthe semicircular drive out.side the Westin.rnAt the Crcsiiound terminal nearrnSouth Station, we say goodbe. I he busrndriver allows the passengers on early,rnwhich is a blessing. It must be 20 degreesrnwith the windchill. I ride back to Portlandrnin the falling dark.rnJanuary 2, J995: A dark morningrn111 southern Maine. Heavy snow. Afterrnmorning coffee, 1 return to my basementrnbedroom to sort through old boxes.rnAfter the snow stops, 1 join Dad andrnRon in shoveling the driveway and thernmailman’s path. The late afternoon .skrnis a sniok’ coral tinged with scadet. Inside,rntoes frozen, wc have tea, watch arnSiiiipsom rerun, and sit down to cabliagernrolls for supper.rnAt 9:00 P.M., I’m listening to a mustyrnold album by Eric Andersen when CarolrnAnn calls and invites me to watch arnmoic on PBS. It’s called ‘ihe Music ofrnChance, starring James Spader andrnMand Patinkin. Spader plavs Jim, arnsleazy, loping cardsharp, while Patinkinrnplays a stalwart fellow named Nash, arnman of patience, humor, and culture.rnAfter a chance meeting, they find themselvesrnplaying high-stakes poker with arnpair of wealthy eccentrics. Confident inrnhis virtuosity, Jim is mortified when,rnplaying for himself and Nash, he losesrneverything, including Nash’s ear. In arnpanicky effort to recoup their losses, hernmanages only to fall deeply into debt, tornthe tune of $10,000. In order to repayrnthe money, they strike a deal with theirrnhosts, agreeing to build a stone wallrnacross an empty field on their estate.rnA few weeks into the labor, Jim, tired,rnindignant, and humiliated, proposes thatrnhe and Nash make a run for it. But Nashrncalmly shrugs. A deal’s a deal. 1 le’s lostrneverything, he explains. I le and Jim tookrna chance and it didn’t pay off. But thingsrncould be worse. And the wall is alreadyrnhalf-finished. In the meantime, theyrnmust make the best of the situation. Yournpays your nickels, you takes your choice.rnOne door closes so another will open.rnJohn i’J. MacKinnon earned Im l^li.D.rnin philofiophy at Cambridge Universityrnand is currently teachmg part-time atrnSaint Mary’s University m Halifax,rnNova Scotia.rnRememberingrnChristopher Laschrnby Ralph A. RniiiurnChristopher Lasch, who fijr manyrnyears served as chairman of the historyrndepartment at the University ofrnRochester and who was famous for hisrncommentaries on American social history,rnincluding such books as I’he Culturernof Narcissism and Haven in a HeartlessrnWorld, died in March 1994 at the age ofrn61. I hose who knew him only throughrnhis printed works knew one sort of person,rnand those who had personal dealingsrnwith him knew another. Thosernwho, like many of his colleagues here,rnknew both the man and his works, sometimesrnhad trouble reconciling ChristopherrnLasch, the author, with “KitrnLasch,” the gentle and soft-spokenrnprofessor.rnHis books were bitter and ironic; hernsaw a world on the edge of collapse.rnSEPTEMBER 1995/43rnrnrn