This is a response to Vol 11 John 3 ("True Confessions")...
[This is part four of "Indefinite Sabbatical"]
Day 23. Fastbinder in his chair surrounded by supplies. Two drawers full of water -- one for washing, one for drinking. He sips Pepsi from a chilled glass, twist of lime. A dozen empty glasses lie abandoned at his feet. Another glass is broken, shards of glass used to cut the rope: no good (steel cable at the core).
The smell of hot sandwich. Just the smell, not the sandwich. (Fastbinder pulled home before he could retrieve it from the microwave.) Spanking new black pants. Another book, just opened, THE BIOGRAPHY OF AMBER DUCKET (IN PROGRESS). Chapter One. "The Problem of Evil."
". . . And in the Fall of my twelfth year I put a quarter into that vending machine and pulled the knob labeled 'TAKE A CHANCE.' The machine rumbled like an empty stomach and did nothing. I reached into its mouth and came up with a handful of dust.
"I hid in a corner. Night fell. I took the machine apart. The shell of the machine, the façade, stood vacant, disemboweled, its mysteries spilled and spread across the floor. I ignored the great heap of silver and moved solemnly through the wreckage, touching every knob, feeling even the teeth of small gears. The night passed.
"My parents found me the next morning asleep at the foot of a vending machine. The façade appeared unchanged. But in the afternoon the TAKE A CHANCE knob was pulled and the great mouth of the machine filled with chocolate."
Chapter Two. "My Dreams of Medical School Destroyed."