After five weeks in Ohio, the bright lights and sheer acreage of its suburban supermarkets still enthrall me. The aisles are so wide you can drive a car. My cart skates across buffed linoleum while I scan, judge, and reject. There’s a cocooned and safe sensation here, a narcotic effect in coasting along and not buying anything, just enjoying the great deals to be had. My breath catches in the existential and super-saturated detergent aisle: All. Era. Gain. Cheer. Bold. I’m dazzled by yards of eggs.

Today I scrolled past housewares, automotive, office supplies, and toward the book section where a father solemnly placed a book in his daughter’s hands. “I’m buying this for you today,” he said. “It’ll tell you everything you need to know about the world.” It was a copy of The Art of War. She couldn’t have been more than ten years old.