We circle the newly paved streets just outside his own exclusive neighborhood, and he points out the lunacy of other people’s excess: houses that stand huge and incomplete, the victims of a developer’s scheme. It is often hard to tell exactly what is missing. Some offer up small clues: round wounds where doorknobs should be, the long blank face of a house without shutters. My father is a distracted tour guide, or perhaps he is only trying too hard. I let him circle the same unfinished neighborhood twice, pretend not to notice when he rounds a familiar corner and points out for the second time the place where he saw a deer nursing her fawn in the remaining woods by the house left half painted. It isn’t a question of not loving my father when I don’t stare off at the spot he points to. I am merely exhausted by his need to treat me to a moment filled with great beauty, as if he is not certain I forgive him for this new life of his. As if my mother is still clinging to me on the couch, asking what she should do with the rest of her life, and my brother is practicing dark sciences in our old suburban basement. As if whole new lifetimes haven’t swept down complete upon us. On the way home we both run out of words all over again. Finally my father tells me that this is a tricky street, the old one we are rolling down now, the way the crossroad creeps up on you at the bottom, the stop sign hidden from view until the last moment.