The writer pays a visit to a friend:

“I visit him on Tuesday nights at the only time they’ll let me see him. I show the receptionist my driver’s license, confirm my social security number and home address, and sign my name on a dotted line.

“‘Relationship?’ I’m always asked.

“‘Friend,’ I always say.

“The woman—it is the same woman every time—looks, at first, disinterested. She doesn’t even bother to raise her head. She types my name into her computer—click click, click click—but when she finds me, her face lights up.

“‘Oh, there you are,’ she says, smiling, as if it’s possible I’ve disappeared.”