Maybe at the last minute something had come up and carried him away. That was classic Teeth anyway. He had probably been packing, and some celestial creature like a moth had probably helicoptered through the apartment, bumping into things and catching his sight and leading it out the window. He had probably chased after it, down the stairs and into the night, calling after it the name of his deceased grandmother, the one he neglected to see months before she died, hurtling after it and watching it land on a small plastic aquarium containing a freshwater frog whose orange spots were disappearing in sync with the moon. He must have scooped the tank up into his arms and raced it to the nearest veterinarian, this Buddhist veterinarian with whom he would get to chatting, and at this moment Teeth was sure to be on a bus to a hilltop monastery, where he’d get his head shaved and make a bevy of bald monk friends and solve life.

That was just the kind of person Teeth was. He had the whole galaxy in his lungs.

But they had been talking about this for months! Ever since Paul’s application to study abroad his fall semester junior year had been approved and Teeth had read about Christiania.

Maybe his plane had gone down. Maybe Teeth was no longer.

Maybe he had missed his flight, and then the plane he was supposed to be on had gone down without him in it. Paul sincerely wondered how that would affect their friendship.