2009 had gotten off to a rotten start. After running my art supply business successfully for five years, it finally succumbed to the pressures of the recession of 2008, and I was forced to close the business in March of 2009. A month earlier, I was involved in a fatal accident with a reckless motorcyclist. Although I was uninjured, it was a very traumatic event (especially considering the timing). And to top it off, just weeks later one of my oldest and dearest friends failed to wake up from open heart surgery. I had promised to help nurse him back to health since I had no other obligations or job prospects. He remained in a coma for weeks, and when he finally came out of it he needed a lot of help recovering, which I was happy to provide since it gave me purpose in my life and we’d been friends for so long. The worst blow of 2009 came when my friend died suddenly of a heart attack during his physical therapy two months after his operation.
After the funeral, I needed to just get away from everything. Another friend had just moved from Philadelphia to Cape Cod, and I had been to see him there several times. He convinced me to spend the summer there, in the hopes that I might resettle there. So I moved to Wellfleet in the spring. I found work in Provincetown, and made the most of my summer there. Ultimately I decided to return to my home in Philadelphia just after Thanksgiving because the economy on Cape Cod was so unstable then and there were no jobs to be had there in the winter.