This one´s totally uncalled for but since it´s coming straight from the heart please do read it with great care—

In a crazy kind of way it´s like waiting for the dice to roll double sixes so your green army can march freely into Mongolia. It´s so unlike chess; there is no illusion for control and the bottom-line is clearly defined by the boundaries of occupied territory.
Or, it´s there if you can take it.

Things had been pretty rough for them by 2002 so every time she asked him out on a Saturday evening he kind of shuddered and that night was no exception. It was not that he wasn´t a good kid (but he really wasn´t, so there), it´s just that money was a little tight and there was no way he could afford dinner for two at a McDonald´s.
Life has a funny way of evening things out unilaterally so of course McDonald´s ended up bringing back some long-gone burger after a period of absence and she was most thrilled, she loved that burger, she had dreams about that burger, he just shuddered. They took his father´s car out and went right in on the very first Saturday once the word was out.
It went like, “Burgers and a coke and no, no fries with those (thank god) what about you, hon, watcher having?”
“Naww nothing for me, I´m good.”
“Really? Come on, I thought you loved that burger.”
“Naww I´m good, really.”
“I think I´ll just nibble at yours.”
“No way!,” she protested angrily. “It´s my sandwich and I´m not giving you any of it. You want to eat, you eat your own.”
So the kid paid for her meal (she was his girlfriend after all) and they passed through the door and sat down at a table just by the deserted playground outside. They talked, she ate, they laughed, maybe kissed, they left.

Back at his parents´- and they were out for the night probably at an uncle´s- they sat down in front of the TV and E.R. was on, she was going through that medical-wannabe phase that all girls go through during their mid-20s (it´s just the maternal instinct thing kicking in, you know) and silence had to reign supreme. “I can only presume”, he thought, “that it really isn´t that unlike watching TV with Joseph Stalin, only the smell is better with her.”
Given the girl´s utter absorption into the show he stood up and went for a glass of water- you want some?, No thanks, not thirsty, and shhh! I´m watching the show.
Only she ended up hearing the wet noise, the chewing noise and got up and headed for the kitchen- how odd, she must have thought, for it was unlit.
Her boyfriend stood under the moonlight by the refrigerator, caught red-handed wolfing a cold plate of chicken leftovers from lunch.
And she went,

“What are you doing?”
“I thought you were not hungry.”
“Not really.”
“You should´ve eaten at the McDonald´s.”
“You never said…”- she hesitated for a bit- “you didn´t have the money.”
“Come on, you could´ve told me.”
“I guess.”
“So why didn´t you tell me?,” she asked with eyes now reddening. “It´s not that bad, is it?”
“Naww, just a day in the life,” he replied very matter-of-factly, very nonchalantly, “Just a drop in the ocean.”
“C´mon…,” fell the first tear, “If I knew it I would never…”
“Hey. Look. Don´t bother.”
“…We could´ve stayed home instead…”
“Hey, really. Just forget it.”
“Please tell me it´s gonna be okay,” she begged, crying, and hugged him.
The boy, not letting go of the chicken, hugged her back but never cried but not because he didn´t want to but because to this day (so he tells me) he thinks he can´t.

Three months earlier:
“Why don´t we move in together?” asked the kid rubbing his eyes as his girlfriend began dressing up for work.
“Are you out of your mind?,” she replied with a sneer.
“For real.”
“Whoa.” She stopped fidgeting with her boots & looked up at him standing in front of her by the bed. “Come on, we don´t have the money, you know that.”
“I´ll figure something out.”
“Look, it´s not that easy.”
“It is for me,” he smiled. “C´mon, for the Nth time, I l-o-v-e you. I want to move in together with you.”
“Don´t take this the wrong way, but it´s strictly wishful thinking on your part.”
“Don´t you want to, then?”
“Of course I do.”
“Then let´s!”
“As soon as we have the money, baby, we will,” she patted him on his thigh.
“I said I´ll come up with something…”
“You´re not as smart as you would like to be, honey,” she smiled. “And besides, this sudden burst of self-confidence this late into the game will not change anything for us.”

Later that night as they lay in bed after the bit with the chicken was settled he couldn´t get to sleep for the life of him- she snored gently by his side. “This is no life,” he thought. “There must some way to escape this mediocrity.”
So he came up with a plan & he would follow it through and I kindly ask for the reader´s suspension of belief now.
It was foolproof, it considered & accounted for every single roll of the dice, both luck and reason were dealt with, Mongolia stood a few years away into the horizon but still it was there and he could almost taste it in the air, it was like Shangri-la or Brigadoon or Atlantis- a castle up in the sky- It was there if he could take it.

“Two things first,” he announced to himself. “First and foremost, the sheepskin is mandatory.”
“It´s gonna be a cinch- it´s just College,” he replied to himself. “Consider it done within a year if I push myself justa bit. What else?”
“You will have to start considering traveling light now.”

He didn´t answer that one. It was all silence all through the night from then on, followed by some heavy breathing in the dark, then silence again & morning.

So don´t bother, okay?
I´m not crazy, I´m not obsessed, I can stop it anytime I want, only I won´t.
Bottom line is, it brings Jack a paycheck.

We close this one with a Paul Simon song:
”Faith? Faith is an island in the setting sun--
But proof? Proof is the bottom line for everyone.”