I wrote a letter to my “Aunt” Diane, who the wife of my father’s best friend when I was growing up. I thanked her for the many meals, and for the hardcover Stephen King novel she gave me every Thanksgiving for my birthday on 3 December. One evening, I was sitting in her living room reading SK by candlelight, and her notoriously wicked Siamese cat sat on my lap for a cuddle. Between the book and the threat of the evil cat in my lap, I had never, up to that moment, been so anxious in my life.

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