One night the following winter, the old Dodge van broke down on the freeway near my house, and as I waited for a tow and the bitter cold edged in, I started playing that game I play when I'm feeling lonely, the one where I review all of my prior relationships, marveling that so many sweet, smart, pretty girls have come into my life and that I've found a way to fuck things up with every one of them. This game usually ends with me calling two or three of my exes and leaving miserable voice mails on their cell phones or their machines at home. Inevitably, one of their new beaus calls back to say, "Hey, man, I heard your message. Emilie's down in Chile for two weeks, but you sounded really down ... I just wanted to make sure you were doing all right."