In 1975, I was thirty years old, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and fairly miserable. I was at loose ends, in one of those becalmed times we have in our lives, not knowing what I wanted to do. I hated Cambridge. Maybe that was because I was working at the Spaghetti Emporium as a waiter. The Spaghetti Emporium was, how shall I put it, a cavernous restaurant in a basement off Harvard Square that served fourth-rate food—spaghetti, obviously, with various uninspired sauces—in dingy, clamoring surroundings to a highly demanding clientele.