Part 1, Chapters 1, 2 and 3
* Andy recalls traveling to a small town to watch a total eclipse of the sun.
* Andy, Claire, and Dag comment on what the sun makes them think of.
* Andy says that he and his friends came to Palm Springs, California to make their lives worthwhile.
* The three friends travel to find a spot for a picnic.
* Andy says that his life and those of his friends have improved since moving to the desert.
* The rules of storytelling are described: don't interrupt and don't criticize.
Part 1, Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7
* The story of Dag's arrival in Palm Springs is told: He had worked in advertising in Canada before losing his temper with his boss.
* Dag become a "basement person."
* Dag moves to Buffalo to stay with his brother, slips into depression, and has a crisis of self.
* Dag decides to move to Palm Springs.
* Andy recalls meeting Claire...
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