Synopsis:  Jason considers what his next steps are while looking over his current domicile. He considers the options before him. The rare opportunity that he has.  He can either turn away from or  towards the sun. Deciding that if he is going to take a stand that he needs to do more than talk to talk.  Either he’s in or out.  Another step is taken in the direction he wants to go on.

Maps.  Everywhere there were maps, all of Gotham.  There were physical maps, topographical maps, subway maps, maps of the water ways and the tunnels.  All maps of Gotham that I could get my hands on were gathered.  Some were spread across walls others were stored away in the various shelves.  When there weren’t map there were blueprints.  Blueprints of every building that was currently accessibly to the public. Many of them were the older ones, ones that people didn’t think too much about, but for someone like me, who liked knowing there were copies of them tucked away or hung up for one reason or another.  Anything that I could request I would get my hands on.

These were things that I collected to when I came to my father’s secret spot, the building that held no name. They once were stored in the room that I called my own, my very own clubhouse so to speak, but now that my father would not be returning it was all mine.  Mine to do as I wish until someone decided that they wanted to do something with the property, but I suspect that would not happen given the location.

For, now, it was mine and it served me well.  I gathered what I could here.  Knowing my way around the city came in handy more than once, really all the time.  Need to know more than a few ways to some places, especially if you were going to make a hasty exit.  Just because I had a place of my own so to speak did not mean that I would stop my other routines.  There were books to read, that never stopped. Not to mention libraries would remain my sanctuaries.  If I could make it back, I knew which libraries I could crash at.

Wouldn’t be the first time nor would it be the last. Sometimes I had to disappear, evade the wrath of my father if things did not go his way or if he wanted to include me on a job that I wanted to avoid. Sometimes it was necessary to prevent my mother from doing things she would later regret.  It was cheap, it was free, and I could keep myself entertained with the books. Learn things that I probably was missing out in school, not to mention become familiar with the things that that would help me stay valuable whether it was information or tips and tricks of a trade or two.

There were things to learn in school, lots to learn in school, but books, there was tons to learn there.  Things that people forgot about or didn’t consider.  Not everyone had the cash to have what they need done which meant that you needed to do yourself.  I wouldn’t say I was a genius, but books kept me occupied. Also given my current living situation DYI had become my middle name more than ever, and You Tube wasn’t readily available all the time.  Besides nothing wrong with broadening your horizons.

I mean there’s talent, but then there were things that you could only learn from a book.  Though sometimes you had to put yourself out there. Listen. Observe.  Figure out what it was what people wanted, more importantly what they needed and do what you could to make yourself invaluable as long as you could, but always had a back-up plan two and exit strategies.  Find your opportunity and when none presents itself create one. Lessons from my father and mother, sometimes for good means, sometimes not so good means.   It was the way things went where I lived.  Sometimes it was the difference between life and death.

Life and death.   That the line that you walk in Gotham.  One wrong choice. One wrong word and it can collapse in around you. Everything you wanted can be snatched away before you had a chance to even believe it was possible.  Gotham isn’t the place of dreams. It’s not even the place dreams go to die. It’s the place of nightmares and if you lucky every now and then you wake up and gain a chance to experience a bit of reprieve before you’re sucked back in. Escape is possible, but Gotham’s like a drug. It gets in your veins. You can’t shake it.  There’s something about it that makes you want to try.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I wish I could, but I can’t.

It’s pretty effed up if you ask me. I mean I should be on the on my way out of town.  The more distance I put between me and Gotham the better.   It should be a distant point in my memory so far away that the light from that memory would take a billion years to reach me.   That would be the smart bet.  Star over, but do you really start over.

Gotham never washes away. It doesn’t stain your skin it stains the soul. Everyone has their baggage.  Their drama.  Gotham was mine.  It took so much, and I should hate it and there is a part of me that does, but every now and then I remember what was possible, what is possible, the people that made life not so horrible.  It would be easy to say that Gotham was a sickness, and I had thoroughly become infected and it would soon eat away at me until there was nothing more, but a husk, a shell of a person that was now simply another part of the collective who would give in to the vile wants and needs of those that continued to poison the city until it could no longer dream.

The forgotten wasteland that drives you to desperation. They want you to give in until you’re the one holding the bat, gripping the crowbar or whatever you can get your hands into.  Until you’re claiming your right as a Gothamite exact your pound of flesh and drink your fill of blood until your have sated the need, but that’s the problem it doesn’t end there.  It never ends.

They say Gotham doesn’t get the heroes it wants; it gets the heroes it needs but sometimes it’s not enough.  There is a line, one I stand upon it watching it run through my lifetime and time again and sometimes it shifts, but how far does it shift. When do you tell yourself that you’re better than that, you the world you wish to see must be reflected in everything you do and say?  The reflection you cast is as wide and vast as you wish it to be, and it’s a constant fight to keep it clear, to prevent it from being clouded.

When you hold the line, it starts from within not from without.

It’s strange when you feel like you should be doing something, but you wonder how you should do it?  What you should do?  Sometimes you walk the streets and just watch and look you try to blend into the background.  Do your best not to get noticed when you don’t want to be and as you do things start to become clear.  The truth is there, and most of the time it’s an ugly truth.

I guess I have been doing that for a long time now.  I can’t say that I’m on the straight and narrow, because I still have to eat and that means that I may have to do things that I’ve done in the past to make ends meet, make sure that me and mom didn’t starve or get kicked out, but now that it’s just me what does it mean?

I know what the government will say, I know what they will do, but let’s face it my face, my name it all says bad news.  My mother died in an accident, and tragic can be attached to it, but the environment, the environment is toxic.   No one wants that in their lives, not anyone that I probably care to be around, because I know what they would want from me, more like from the government.  The check is what they would be waiting for, and though there are some good ones out there, but I know the baggage that I come with. It doesn’t go away, because I want it to, not to mention there’s things that I can do, things that I need to do.

My live has been out of my control for good part of my life.  What I portion I could claim for myself was hampered by the action of my parents.  Now, that life has dealt me my next hand I have to decide what my next play is.

Part of me knows, but the other part wonders if I’m ready.  If I should.  Nothing to it, but to do it they say, come good or bad.  I can do that much right?

Right now I can make my own rules for as long as I can. I know there are alternatives, but the alternatives are ones I rather not consider.  I rather avoid if possible. Of course, that meant that there were decisions that needed to be made.  Decisions that required to be supported by actions.  Actions that required a level of commitment that would see me through to that corner.  The one that had be turned so I can find my way to the next step.

Down from the top floor to the street.  Out of the room with maps and blueprints to the path that would take me where I needed to go.  Being quick was good, but sometimes you had to stand your ground and it couldn’t be luck that carried you through.  I knew some, but not enough. There was no one to turn to but myself, and people, some people decided that there needed to be lessons taught to whoever they felt was in need of one.

Which meant that I would be in need of lessons of my own. For me and for them.  Just like Mark Watney said.

 At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you… everything’s going to go south and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem… and you solve the next one… and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.”

Eff Mars.  Mars’s got nothing on Gotham.

Thing is in Gotham everything starts south.  Actually, it starts in hell. You’re born right into hell and after you accept that you can either stay where you are or climb your way out, one circle at a time, because let’s face it Dante got it wrong. There are ten circles of hell and Gotham’s right in the center it.  If you let it be. Once you break out of that mindset you only got nine circles to go.

Pushing the door open to the building I walked to I glanced around chewing on the inside of my cheek. Glancing over at the woman he was talking to who I perceived was the gym I watched as she approached even as the man leveled his gaze at me like he knew me.

“Welcome to The Pride of Gotham are you interested in joining?”