The farm is a huge, sprawling bizarre, heavily populated day and night, and it appears to be in the same place, but it now has Corfu-like colonnades, very narrow cobblestone roads, beach fronts, the steam horns of shipping in the harbor, and tightly spaced medieval and renaissance store fronts, along with the standard western towns and boardwalks.  We traverse it, most of the time in a large bus driven by my father. He chooses some incredibly narrow village bridges and alleys to thread, and our purpose seems to be getting the various Rileys to say goodbye to a family member I think deserves a more dignified departure than he is receiving. I can’t tell who he is, but he enjoys some global/national importance, and simply no one on the farm can step away from their cash registers long enough to say goodbye. This annoys me, and it annoys the rest of the family that Dad and I would interrupt their day for this farewell. At each stop, I forget a black, brick-sized battery. A few times I ask the “Riley dignitary” to pick it up and bring it along to the next stop.  After he leaves, I step into the colonial guard house and Morgan Brittany appears interested in a highly technical series of catalogs I’m reviewing. “I’m meeting with a water processing company,” I tell her. I climb a series of steps, past terraces on both sides, filled with thousands of late afternoon dinner guests, eating their meals and creating a pleasant, festive din that reaches out to the sea, crashing on rocks just below them. I scratch the stubble on my chin, and remember, for some reason, I had decided to grow a beard. This notion fills with me with weariness—the idea for waiting for anything always does—and then I look in the mirror. I’m a little younger. The goatee is deep black and has a kind of d’Artagna, musketeer flair.

If I say so myself.

Time for veggie juice…