I’ve been out of work for eighteen years. Or at least that’s what Social Security thinks, since freelance writing assignments and portrait painting rarely raise my income to the point where a tax return is required. Eighteen years ago I went on maternity leave from my forty-hour sit-down job at Airborne Express answering phones and pleasing irate customers in microseconds (following a grossly underpaid stint in retail and fine art), to have an eight-pound, ten-ounce baby boy. Never went back to work. Dr. Clark handed our naked, vernix- (that sticky white stuff that keeps babies from shriveling up like prunes inside the amniotic sac) covered boy to me, I looked into his open eyes, looked into my wife’s face and said, “I’m not going back to work,” and...