Images of wrinkly skinned women drinking black coffee and smoking Camel cigarettes permeated Dave Tomlinson's brain.
It had been several years since these images danced in his head, and he had removed them by envisioning pouring a container of Clorox Bleach into an abandoned sandbox.
"Jeopardy" continued to blare from the other room, but the sound was simply a murmur to Dave.
In three short weeks, he would leave for a small chateau in Burgundy, sipping the local wine with his Brazilian travel mates. Those evenings in Rio de Janeiro were a tequila-riddled blur, but had turned into a lifelong friendship with an elementary school teacher, an orthopedic surgeon and a tire salesman.
Dave rubbed his temples. Sleep would come easy tonight.