I worry that avian flu is finally going to hit this year and I will get into my car and head west to my stepmother's remote farm, but I arrive too late for the quarantine, or my stepsister will pull up the same moment I do and there will be enough food for only one of us, and my father and his wife will be forced into some 21st-century blended-family Sophie's choice.

I worry that my identity is being stolen by someone right this second and every cent drained out of my bank account and a Lexus bought with a credit card in my name.

I worry that I have forgotten a crucially important appointment, or maybe that I've forgotten that I'm supposed to be giving a lecture in Saskatchewan right this second and there's a small group of people sitting in an auditorium somewhere, angry and wondering where I am.