I pulled the cord and heard the expected click-pause-click, The light from the bare bulb hanging from the ceiling swayed and spun like the shadows that curled around me. On the narrow top of that bulb was a film of stale dust. mortgage. insurance. homeowner's association. HMO. little league. divorce. shootings. SOS. rose garden. new and improved. anger. neighborhood watch. paranoia. high blood pressure. fast-track advancement. oil change. PTA. tryptophan. panic. carpal-tunnel syndrome & other RSDs. re-roofing. 2-hour commute. trash day. late nights. acid reflux. worry. weekends with the kids. weekends without the kids. universal remote. road rage. vertical blinds. PCBs. green hills then orange groves then gray streets. high bandwidth. valium. subscriptions. 12 o'clock VCR. forgetfulness. anxiety. I couldn't bear to be in this place any longer, so I stilled the lunging shadows and turned off the light.