My one-time roommate Claire had inherited the house from her uncle, and when she went off to bigger and better things, she’d left it in my care. And it needed a lot of it. Most importantly, it needed a new roof. There was a worrying stain on the ceiling of my bedroom that had started out roughly the shape of Rhode Island, but now looked more like North Carolina. Another few more days of rain and it was going to be Texas. And then it wouldn’t be anything at all because the battered old shingles were going to cave in on my head.