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Sitting on the commuter bus on the ride home after a tough day, I was left with no other distractions but to sit there and reflect.  I projected my thoughts out to the blank canvas outside the bus window, reviewing them over and over as though it were to change the ending of an overplayed movie.

Clearly, it had to have been one of the tougher times.  Something just had to be done – had to be an understatement.  When you’re young and you pay attention to everything you’re supposed to.  You pay attention to all the rules and you abide by them.  You’re a straight “A” student and you get a smiley face on your report card.  There is just true happiness and nothing can be wrong.  It’s just the way it is.  But when you grow up and you find yourself just sitting there on the bus, looking out the window, just wondering what went wrong.  You wonder what could’ve been done a little bit differently to lead things down a different path.  You take it all in and then reprocess it again and then, once again a few minutes later. This is when it occurs to you that no one is going to magically appear and give you brownies because you’ve been a good boy.  Like I said, it must’ve been one of the tougher times.

The situation was that since we’ve retreated back to New York City after Houston, times were a bit tough.  I did start working again, back to computer consulting.  Although not with the same zest as once was previously, it was still work and we needed this.  We had burned a big bag of money while in Houston, and that wasn’t coming back.  Sure, reflect on the experience and learn from that.  But of course, this is what they all say especially when there was no brighter side.  But things at home weren’t really improving at this point either.  I knew that Elizabeth just felt trapped being there in Brooklyn with not much else to do besides taking care of Megan full time.  And Megan, being so young and so innocent, just wonders what had happened to her surroundings.  Bless her.

I say bless her, for if she was older, she’d probably be cussing at me.  This is what people do when they’re disappointed in their father – the one who was supposed to take care of them and provide for the family.  Whether this was the truth or not, I did feel guilty.  This too, was an understatement.

Earlier today, I had lunch with a friend and he asked how we were doing.  I didn’t really know how to answer.  He probably could tell from my reaction that I felt somewhat uncomfortable.  He stated I was different now.  He was right, but I didn’t know how he could tell.  His advice was to accept what had happened and move on.  But I knew that moving on also meant something had to change.  Living in Houston didn’t work. Coincidentally, Elizabeth’s family lived there.  And living in New York City wasn’t going to work now, especially if we’re hunched down hiding away in my parents’ house.  We needed neutral ground.

I had to find the strength to pull it together.  Like I said, I knew that no one was going to pop up and give me a brownie just because I’ve been a good boy.  I had to try something, anything.  But that something had to revolutionary enough to be effective…

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