Mother exists out of time, where there are no periods, no eras, no fashions. Fashion is provisional, the imperfect state. She can buy a dress or a suit only with the greatest difficulty and always, on the rare occasions when she does buy, with dissatisfaction. For fashion is the corruption of the moment, the distorted shadow of the real-that which passes because it cannot satisfy for long. Her apartment was filled with furniture and furnishings purchased over sixty years ago, when she was first married. Whatever she possessed was carefully preserved and inventoried in her mind, so that she could retrieve whatever item she might need or want at a moment's notice. She needed no lists to remind her where things were. She seemed to have been born with the instincts of an archivist, embodying the principle of continuity, a resistance to the disruptions, the obsolescences of modern life.