Going Caboose

I woke up to the sunlight streaming in through the slanted roof window. Tiny birds sang a chaotic chorus out in the world, the manicured gardens, the spaces between houses and apartment towers. "We're still here," they sang. 
"None of us are getting out of this alive," I thought. 
I slipped on my trousers, changed shirts, clambered down the spiral wooden staircase, my mind two steps behind.
The children were already up, bent over cereal bowls and leaning in to the morning. Sunshine here is a rare commodity. Mostly it is strangled by the cloud cover, fleets of dark panzas floating in tight formation and determined to vomit at the slightest glitch.
I looked at my daughters, five and 12, their eyes huge and glowing, and wondered what kind of world could I personally leave for them. I keep pumping them, priming their minds with sets of tools, with turns of phrase, with oblique and askew ways of seeing totally normal things, to show them where the exits are, where the place is to stand one's ground, how to measure oneself in a world mad with the obvious, with the past, with the grinding gears of groupthink and how to know that that measurement is subjective, nonsensical.
"It's like buying a house," I keep telling myself. You don't buy according to what the market says, the great blind train of so called trends, you buy according to the value you see in it. For your own means. "You can't ride the caboose and expect to end up any place you actually want to go."

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