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By Anne Roiphe

Anne Roiphe was once no longer rather seventy years outdated while her husband of approximately 40 years all of sudden kicked the bucket. however it used to be now not until eventually her daughters put a private advert in a literary magazine that Roiphe started to contemplate the formerly unimagined chance of a brand new guy. Eloquent and astute, relocating among heartbreaking stories of her marriage and the urgent wishes of a brand new day by day regimen, Epilogue takes us on her trip into the unknown international of lifestyles after love.

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I have thought about it. The window, pills, the ocean, the gas stove—I hold the idea in my mind, saving it for the right moment the way one might a good champagne, a piece of jewelry reserved for such a special occasion that it hasn’t yet arrived. Not right now. My children would grieve. I would not want to cause them pain. They should not have to lose two parents within a short time span. Aged orphans they will one day be but they should have time to get used to the idea. I am loathe to leave the story before its end, although I suppose I will in time, just not now.

I stand there. I attempt to count the circles but I lose track. The tree may have been here before there were subways, before there were apartment buildings on Riverside Drive, maybe it was here when Henry Hudson sailed up the winding river not knowing where he was going or if he would return. How many wars ago did it root itself in the ground, how many babies in carriages rolled past it not noticing its height, its breadth, its breathing out oxygen into our air? It was gone in an instant. Fort, da, what made it heave up onto the sidewalk at just that moment?

I walk around and go down another street. That afternoon I walk to the corner. The street is cleared. No police, no fire trucks. I walk down the block toward Broadway and I see it, a huge chunk of sidewalk has heaved up and cracked down the center. The tree has been sawed off and all that remains is a circle of raw wood surrounded by a mound of dirt. I look at the rings in the wide stump. Its thick roots must have gone deep into the dirt and back underneath the brownstone buildings behind it. I stand there.

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