March 16, 2008
By Katya Ungerman, Boca Raton, FL

He wishes he went to MIT. There was no real, justifiable reason he didn’t go, he could have gotten in if he wanted to. He didn’t go though, and even though he’s young, just forty, there isn’t much time for him to try now. No room in his schedule to get an extra degree, one more credential. There’s no room right now to learn for the sake of learning. Right now he is a working man. He only has time to walk around the campus. He pretends. He’s relatively successful, of course, nothing compared to his cousin – who did, consequently, get into his dream school. He makes a lot of money, or at least enough, but he has this perennial paranoia about where money goes and how it’s spent. Unwarranted paranoia. He worries about the essentials and in excess. As if we can’t afford dinner or a winter coat, even though we have more than enough. He worries about a lot of things though, he sifts through old books – that no one has any intention of reading, not even himself – to make sure they’ve remained intact through the years. It’s not that he can’t part with these things, socks that are decades old, paint samples from our first house. It’s almost as if he wants to make sure they’re living as comfortably as he has. He’ll throw things away when the time comes, or when they’re really starting to clutter, but every action is done with kindness. Even inanimate objects, he believes, things that are seemingly insignificant, deserve a modicum of kindness.

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