We fell in love with New Order’s Technique, and then fell in love with each other. By 1990, we had married and moved to a suburb of Houston from our native St. Louis. We lived in an apartment inhabited by mostly minorities; rent was cheap and the cockroaches came free of charge. My primary job was to deliver pizza for a nearby Domino’s Pizza—a formidable task in my 1987 Toyota Tercel hatchback when you consider the company still had their “30 minutes or free” campaign in full effect. Over the weekends, I’d tutor some rich high school kids in Latin, one of the many useless things I’d learned in college and never had a chance to apply. My wife worked at a Dairy Queen two blocks down. Within four months of moving, she became pregnant.
It took us two and a half weeks to decide, but we chose to have the child. Unsure of how we’d get by financially, I asked the father of one of the kids I tutored about possible job opportunities for a college dropout like me. He said the world was tough and that without a diploma, I would continue scraping the bottom of the barrel. He wasn’t trying to be harsh, but I doubt he’d ever been in a po