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July 28, 2009
He sat at his desk -- the one in the corner, tucked up against the window, that he shared with a busier and more popular colleague -- and faced the wall. Meditatively, he removed a deck of cards from its box and began shuffling them, hand to hand, as quietly as he could.

Some days, this was the only way to shut his mind down -- ugly thoughts and painful ideas kamikazed into his brain, friends' laughs sounded shrill and mocking, even the wheels on his chair seemed smug. So out came the cards, and he switched off his brain for a bit.