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Excerpt 4

A series of pictures of this boy flashed in my mind: of his mother dropping him off at the Taco Bell, assuring him she’d be back to pick him up at the right time; of the boy shuffling through the aisles between the tables, his head down, filling the napkin dispensers, sweeping the floor, trying to maneuver the dustpan with his twisted wrists and disabled hands, while hurried, busy, “normal” people rushed by him toward the door. I pictured in my mind the vacant look on his face, almost as if he were blind, the result of his being brain-damaged. I also pictured in my mind, very clearly, the vacant look on the faces of the other people in the restaurant in regard to him – the look that keeps this young man and others like him from connecting with the “normal” world. Then I pictured Amy in those shoes. I realized she would never be able to get that culinary arts degree and work as a chef in New Orleans, as she had planned. Maybe, if she were lucky, she’d be able to bag groceries.
Well, so what? As long as she’s happy. As long as she could cope with what had happened to her and find a way to be happy anyway. And I’d be there to help her do just that, to help her stay connected with the world.
She could live with that, couldn’t she?

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