A writer, out of money, is forced to part ways with his dream guitar:

“The first hospital bill arrived in late June. My eyes roamed its surface: ‘If paying by check…’ ‘YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR BILL. PLEASE PAY THE BALANCE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.’ ‘Please pay this amount…’ Along came the dizzying despondency of the Amount Due, four figures comprising the deductibles left over from a six-day stay and ER consultations and minor surgery and X-rays and everything else a troop of professionals provides to keep patients alive and well at Lenox Hill Hospital. More bills followed—consultations here, outpatient follow-ups there. As sure as I felt my preexisting vortex of personal financial ruin gather strength around me, its waves tickling and willing the bills into whispering tremors in my hand, I knew how all of this would end: I would sell the Bean.”