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Five Years
End of chapter 1
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The First Paragraph of the Book

I am dancing to the music as I step in a semi-circle to the left and punch my opponent’s face with my right hand, turning my heel and rotating my hip in unison as I strike to impart more force. I pause and center my weight so I use my body more than my arms to throw my limp opponent away. Then as the lovely Ms. Lopez sings the end, “Until it beats no more,” I step to the right and slowly raise my center of gravity, feeling my body expand with my inner energy. My imaginary opponents dispatched and the Tai Chi short form done, three quick, measured steps and a tap of my finger stops the music. I tuck in my pants, straighten my tie, and do one last visual sweep of the room. Satisfied that everything is as good as it is going to get, I slowly, determinedly take the six steps that move me into the hallway, and take up my position just to the left of the heavy, grey steel door. Without conscious thought, my arms fold across my chest, my face becomes impassive, and I center my weight so I am in full combat ready posture. It is 8:00 and the children are coming.