July 1, 2019:

The first apartment overlooked ocean. Spiritual Ground Zero: Niagara Avenue at the very foot of the Pier. From his desk at the window you surveyed coast from tide pools to La Jolla.

He stacked his books in milk crates up one wall. Pooled his earnings for the most important tool: an IBM Selectric II Erasable. He sat that on a stolen metal desk he'd liberated from university just weeks before.

There was a murphy bed, uncomfortable, but comfort wasn't really the priority. It was about freedom.

Freedom to finish school, freedom to write novels. Freedom to fix the broken world's obvious spiral into looming self-destruction.