Daniel Pecan Cambridge cannot walk over curbs–he crosses streets only where there are two facing driveways. This often means walking paper-clip-shaped routes to get to the across-the-street Rite Aid. The total sum of light bulb wattage in his apartment must always be 1,125 watts. He finds duty in touching the corners of all of the copy machines at Kinkos. If something rocks his routine, drawing “magic squares” brings him back to calm. He irons everything, sometimes several times, including pillows. He enters “Most Average American” essay contests, in different voices. He sorts his mail, even when there are only two pieces. He counts things that don’t seem countable. Daniel is a savant, for sure—and obsessive-compulsive, and autistic—but he’s also a man. He’s gentile and kind, sometimes scared, but will lie to a woman just for attention; white lies, usually. Sometimes bigger lies, like the fact that he’s putting Quaaludes in her juice drink, for instance. But Daniel is generally harmless, and when he’s confronted with some of the ugly realities of life (like death), his systematic process of dealing with them lends itself as a model for grief. Sometimes, it seems like routine might be the safest place to live.