The summer after I finished my BS, I refused to get a job. I knew I would be a programmer (it was the only salable skill I had) and I wanted to postpone it as long as possible. My Caltech classmates were landing high-paying jobs at companies with three letter names: RDA, ISI, TSC, TRW. They tacked offer letters to their dorm room doors.

I slept very late every day.

Afternoons I'd work the LA Times crossword, sitting outside on an old couch in the shade with the other slackers. We could hear rats rustling around in the palm fronds.

For dinner, I ate sticky rice wrapped in sheets of seaweed, dipped in soy sauce. The rice I boiled in a pot that had lost most of its light green coating.

Flecks of teflon seasoned my rice.


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