Wheel Of Fortune

the-sparkWriting of the time leading up to 2008, Barnett writes, ‘ ”I have every single thing I’ve ever hoped for.” And then the recession hit.'(171) On Christmas morning, though for Barnett it’s a religious holiday ‘and we tend to focus on charity'(175), there was little under the tree. However, when she opened the front door, oh joy! There were presents from a Secret Santa(176). Yet, that joy didn’t last. ‘It can’t get worse’, she thought, but it did.(178) Again in another strange coincidence, her son’s best friend and my brother share a similar fate. Her son’s best friend and my brother share the same name, Christopher.

Things do get better, sort of. Jake skipped a whole bunch of grades to find his academic peers, yet he continued to tutor others. He said to his mother, ‘They’re all trying really hard, Mom. It’s not fair.’ His mother writes, ‘I was so proud of him at that moment, prouder than if he’d won the Fields Medal, the most prestigious math prize in the world. Jake knew he’d have his own victories in the world, and he understood that this one wasn’t for him.'(199) Yet learning and creating on his own ‘was his primary reality, while the stuff of everyday life seemed more like an afterthought.'(204)

up and down,
round and round,
the wheel of fortune goes.
where it stops,
or when it stops,
nobody living knows.

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