Marking the death of Gabriel García Márquez yesterday at age eighty-seven. Monique gave me his One Hundred Years of Solitude long ago as a birthday gift, and I was caught up in its mysterious web like millions of others. It is one of those great classics that refuses to be pinned down, not least by its author. Wikipedia, in its article on Márquez, quotes him about it: “Most critics don’t realize that a novel like One Hundred Years of Solitude is a bit of a joke, full of signals to close friends; and so, with some pre-ordained right to pontificate, they take on the responsibility of decoding the book and risk making terrible fools of themselves.” Sometimes great books simply happen, for whatever reason. Some books are wonderful mirrors in which the invisible reflects back something of reality yet no one’s able to say how. Of complications with pneumonia—the old man’s friend.