The reason why we love lists so much, Umberto Eco posits, is because we are so afraid to die. Sounds about right. On my walk this morning, I spotted first a “Chipmunk Crossing” sign posted at ankle height then a handmade “Cat Crossing.” The bears in this neighborhood need no such signage; they just plow on through. In the last six months four old friends have reappeared in my life—and I don’t even do Facebook—one since committing suicide and another’s marriage dissolving like a child’s sandcastle. Unfailingly, the odds are not good. Close to home, and for the second time, a pair of buzzards flaps up into the chill sky, startling the dogs with a sound like a box of mail order catalogues falling through the branches of a tall tree. Such mundane portents no longer surprise me. Just part of the dance. Nothing new.