Despite the gunshots in the street, despite the eggings and the muggings and the overpriced food, Capitol Hill didn’t suit me. I moved out at the end of July. Since then, I am told, the streets around Eastern Market have turned desolate. Hot winds blow through them; skeletons lie in the sun while the tumbleweeds scatter.

There is a neighbor who will not have me around as audience to his death-metal lyrics. There is a neighbor whose cats will not bring me any more presents of stiff baby mice. There is a roommate who will float his houseboat without me, and a landlady who no longer can hear my guitar on the stoop after dusk. I will miss them. And, dear reader, I will miss you.

But at least I won’t miss the crime. Where I’m going, I’m gonna need a lot more than a nine.