Iowa City was a place where people could and did stall out forever. Seated along the bar in the Mill Restaurant was a line of customers that hadn't changed in thirty years, being served by bartenders ten years older than Guthrie was. If you were from Oelwein or Spencer or Denby, you could wash ashore in Iowa City and be so sated with ease and pleasure that you would never move on, which was not the case in Ames. Ames took them in and popped them out. Iowa City took them in and kept them — that was the difference between pain and pleasure, Guthrie supposed. He had been living here two and a half years, and he did feel better than he had at the Usherton Motel 6, but he also felt that he was reaching a point of no return: Another year and he would buy a house on American Legion Road and grow a beard to his waist. He was thirty-two now, a disappointment to everyone but himself and Dr. Kingston, who thought she had done a good job with him. He gave himself six months to come up with a plan. If, when he saw Felicity at Thanksgiving, he still hadn't thought of anything, he would put himself in her hands.