"I am not sure what chokes me up: either the place’s familiarity or its rigid reluctance to act familiar. It is another useful theme and exercise of the Existence Period, and a patent lesson of the realty profession, to cease sanctifying places—houses, beaches, hometowns, a street corner where you once kissed a girl, a parade ground where you marched in line, a courthouse where you secured a divorce on a cloudy day in July but where there is now no sign of you, no mention in the air’s breath that you were there or that you were ever, importantly you, or that you even were. We may feel they ought to, should confer something—-sanction, again—because of events that transpired there once; light a warming fire to animate us when we’re well nigh inanimate and sunk. But they don’t. Places never cooperate by revering you back when you need it. In fact, they almost always let you down, as the Markhams found out in Vermont and now New Jersey. Best just to swallow back your tear, get accustomed to the minor sentimentals and shove off to whatever’s next, not whatever was. Place means nothing."