The ballet had been wonderful. Mere words could not describe for Tom something that had happened to him. It was not simply “thrilling,” or “charming.” It was a work of art. Now he and Bill walked up the steep hill above Van Ness in a cold wind and neither pretended the city— suddenly in a perspective of streets— was not also wonderful. Tom imagined it was a castle of promises and secrets ready to be broken, a work, golden in its artificial light, of chance.

6 January 1981