Quarter of two. Every time Dominic and I meet at the Even Hotel, Janet Jackson’s “Escapade” can be heard on the PA. It’s a song of 1989, which for me is meaningful because in the fall of that year I also studied James Joyce. I know it’s only my own mind putting stuff together, but what a great thing! My soul longs for joy and happiness after eons of guilt and despair. Could it be that life can finally be as I desire it? The fact is that people are always free within a certain set of circumstances. Moreover, we can choose our emotions at any given time. Happiness comes from inside. And then, to what extent we can, we change the world around us. Some situations will always be sad, but we have the freedom not to go there. Memories of my mother make me happy. It doesn’t matter that my siblings despised her. My life isn’t theirs to control. The only soul living inside my body is me. And I alone am the arbiter and judge of value. All of us are alone with our lives, yet alone together. Sometimes there are connections when everything makes sense. Voila Janet Jackson, James Joyce, and job search with Dominic at the Even Hotel…

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