Ray was a friend of a friend and we had never really met. He sent such good letters. Pages of typewritten henpeck, I felt honored by the effort and wheedled the old green Smith-Corona out of my grandmother.

Ray lived in Pennsylvania and owned a goat. I wondered whether we had ever breathed a common molecule of air or swallowed a common drop of water, cycled and traveled across the country to where the other one lived. Years later a professor would ask me if I knew the odds on whether I had ever breathed an air molecule that had cycled through Caesar's lungs. He said there were no odds, that it was certain, mathematically, I must have. I was not impressed I was disappointed. It wasn't so unusual after all, we had shared nothing rare. I tried to look at it in a more holistic light, the "we are all one" thing but I am by nature miserly and jealous and I didn't want to share with everyone, I wanted to pick and choose.

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