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  Outside was almost total darkness, except for a few pinpoints of light lining the far side of the invisible lake. The air through the screen doors was warm and humid and the haunting cry of loons echoed across the silent emptiness of night. 

  Inside we had just finished dinner. Five old friends plus a couple representatives of the next generation had poured themselves mugs of beer, glasses of wine, and a scotch on the rocks and had repaired as they say to the living room to discuss the happenings of the day and the state of the world, including politics, economics, and the frequent fall-back topic: the unsettled and volatile dynamic between the sexes. That made seven possessors of University Degrees and myself, a three time dropout. 

  I carried my glass over to the sink and began the long task of washing, drying, and putting away the dishes, claiming when asked why I wasn’t contributing to the conversations and debates, that “washing dishes was my contribution.” From long experience I knew explanations were futile and ultimately frustrating. 

  Earlier today, months after that beautifully peaceful night, I read these words and smiled to myself: 

  ‘The men who believe that work and brains will accomplish everything must ever be deceived by the quixotic and unforeseen turn of events. They are the ones who are perpetually disappointed; no longer able to blame the gods, or God, they turn on their fellow-men and vent their impotent rage by crying “Treason! Stupidity!” and other terms.’—Henry Miller, Sexus

  And then this sparkling summation:

  ‘The world has not to be put in order: the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order, to know what is the world order in contradistinction to the wishful-thinking orders which we seek to impose on one another.’—Henry Miller, Sexus

  Ahh, Miller, you happy rock, your books occupy a prominent place on a shelf here at the Omphalos Cafe.