WHEN I WAS IN my early teens and working at a Maine amusement park, a friendly man came around frequently, painting this magnificent picture of mountain-climbing and outdoor camping and adventure. He would take me on such an excursion, he said, and I remember asking my parents if I could go, and I remember they said yes, as long as they could meet the guy.
I told the guy this and he said that would be no problem, but days dragged on with no meeting and soon the big weekend was upon us and he was pushing for me to go. I would like to tell you my parents forbade me to go, but what I remember is I kind of forbade myself. I don't know why exactly. I just did.
The nice guy, who always came by alone, disappeared soon afterward.