Many children grow through adolescence with no ripples whatever and land smoothly and predictably in the adult world with both feet on the ground. Some who have stumbled and bumbled through childhood suddenly burst into bloom. Most shake, steady themselves, zigzag, fight, retreat, pick up, take new bearings, and finally find their own true balance.
One of his private vanities was that all the garbage sorting had endowed his hands with killing strength-that he could chop a brick in half like Bruce Lee. 'So let's get a brick, ' replied a girl with whom he had once, injudiciously, shared this conviction. Abdul had bumbled away. The brick belief was something he wanted to harbor, not to test.