Today I woke up on an airplane as it touched down in Miami. A nice man drove me someplace else in Florida somewhere. My hotel is next to a highway and my room has a view of a parking lot. There are no sidewalks here but I went for a walk anyway and found may to a mostly boarded up shopping mall. It was very depressing. The stores that weren't boarded up—a couple of laser-hair-removal salons, a big-and-tall store for men, a Pita Pit—were deserted.

Except for the Barnes & Noble—the mall's bookstore, somehow, was packed. That lifted my spirits.

All of the discounted books on the remainders table were about faith—Christian affirmations for Christian moms, Christian soup for Christian teens' Christian souls, Christian parables for Christian businessmen—but there was one book on the remainders table about atheism. There are lots of pictures, and it was pro-atheism, and it looked pretty interesting, so I bought a copy for $4.95. (You can get a new copy of the same book at Amazon for $10.22.) Purchasing this book—soupy affirmations for the atheist sex-advice columnist's non-existent soul—makes me no different than a Christian mom who leaves the bookstore with a book of Christian affirmations for Christian moms but, like, whatever. Did I mention that it has lots of pictures?

Then I walked to a pharmacy to buy some shaving cream because I look like a bum and I have to get ready to give a talk. I had to stare at this for ten minutes while I waited in line with a selection of Floridian clichés—senior citizen in track suit, senior citizen in motorized cart, senior citizen in cardiac arrest—and all I could think was...


...just your life?