Everything came crashing down. Everything we knew was breaking down, and everything broken was being put away. It felt like nothing we knew about ourselves, and about the world was right. I stopped tracking things. My calendar, my to-do lists, my routine, my life ceased to exist. “I exist because the system exists,” the kid screamed inside as one by one the system came undone. “I exist because the system exists. If the system didn’t exist, we wouldn’t exist,” he kept repeating, almost chanting, as he had always done. Life became calmer but never slower. It was all okay now; it was all fine. The kid was still scared though, and he didn’t stop repeating those words, so I held him from his shoulders, and I shook him violently — something I had promised I would never let happen to him again. “I exist because-,” I interrupted him. “Look around, kid. The system is gone. The system is gone, and you still exist, and everything is okay now. Everything will be fine; we’ll be fine. The system is gone. It’s all gone, and we still exist.” I gave him a tight hug. I wondered if that was the only thing he needed all along. I held on to him one last time, as tightly as I could, and then slowly, I let him go.