A few weeks later, I am living in Italy.
I have quit my job, paid off my divorce settlement and legal bills, given up my house, given up my apartment, put what belongings I had left into storage in my sister's place and packed up two suitcases. My year of traveling has commenced. And I can actually afford to do this because of a staggering personal miracle: in advance, my publisher has purchased the book I shall write about my travels. It all turned out, in other words, just as the Indonesian medicine man had predicted. I would lose all my money and it would be replaced immediately--or at least enough of it to buy me a year of life.
So now I am a resident of Rome. The apartment I've found is a quiet studio in a historic building, located just a few narrow blocks from the Spanish Steps, draped beneath the graceful shadows of the elegant Borghese Gardens, right up the street from the Piazza del Popolo, where the ancient Romans used to race their chariots. Of course, this district doesn't quite have the sprawling grandeur of my old New York City neighborhood, which overlooked the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, but still . . .
It will do.