Sometime between Josiah’s and Laura’s wedding and my interviews in Glasgow, the red silk tie that Margaret gave me several years ago developed a very peculiar problem. The once-solid red tie has grown dull diagonal stripes; the tie looks as bright as ever in certain parts, and a muted murky red in others. The diagonal stripes don’t align with any external point of contact. It can’t be that, for instance, I bumped against a diagonally-muddy-striped wall. They aren’t congruent with any physical stressor they’ve encountered; it won’t work to imagine that the tie was folded or squeezed in a certain way to produce these regular diagonal stripes. I’m quite prepared shrug and say, “Oh, well, so much for that tie.” I just hate to give up trying to figure out what on earth happened.