The Roseville Hotel had closed many years ago, and the rooms upstairs had been converted to apartments, but the bar on the ground floor was still called the Roseville Hotel, because everyone was used to the name.

One Saturday in January, John James and two of his friends were sitting at the bar drinking small golden glasses of beer. It was very cold outside but sunlight came through the red curtains, giving the bar the look of a painting, one left unfinished, as if the painter had forgotten it and never returned to the room where it waited.

On the wall above the liquor bottles there were two hockey sticks with taped blades and a pair of scarred leather skates that hung by cotton laces on a nail. The sticks and the skates made a little shrine to the sport of hockey, which someone associated with the bar must have played at one time. It was that middle part of Saturday afternoon when it seems like it will be Saturday afternoon for two or three weeks.