A lot of bad stuff had gone on, and I was under a great deal of pressure to restore order.
When my last class of the day finally filed out, I breathed a sigh of relief. There, on my desk, was a folded piece of paper. A welcome note! I thought. Yes, I actually thought this. Have I mentioned I was fresh from college?
I carefully opened my note. I still remember the exact spelling, even. It read:
Now I know enough to save it. But at the time, I gasped and threw it away as quickly as possible. And found myself looking at my empty hand. I think I was looking for blood.
And they tried. Gracious, how they tried, some of them. On the way to work each morning in those first few weeks, I used to think how much I wanted to turn around and drive home. Every bone and fiber of my being wanted to drive in the other direction. Drive to Mexico, maybe. Every cell, every hair, every molecule wanted to run. All the strands of my DNA. Every atom. On the drive home, sometimes I would cry.
During that time, my father had a stroke on top of it all. It was the first time in my life I felt positively assaulted from all sides. And unfortunately, not the last.
(Next week: Part III)