Grew Up… a happy little boy. Gary was the oldest of three children, and he got along with his younger siblings quite well in the early years. The depression of his father Alfred may have sunken in though, because as Gary ages, he has a growing propensity for “anhedonia,” the inability to find pleasure in activities usually found enjoyable.
Living… in depression in Philadelphia. He tries to convince himself he’s still happy through sad attempts at improving himself and his current family situation, with his three boys and wife Caroline. One night he forces himself to make “mixed grill,” a ritual in which he barbecues dinner for the whole family. It ends in disaster, with Gary burning the food and cutting his hand, and his family more afraid than ever that their father’s psychological health is sinking into a strange dark place.
Profession… banker. Gary is quite rich, and spoils his children with new gadgets and expensive toys. His work is one of the few pleasures he still has left. The enjoyment of picking a rising stock, of making a killing with his own financial savvy, gives Gary a feeling of accomplishment. But how much of an accomplishment is it really in the late ‘90s, when pretty much every stock seems to go up and up?
Interests… photography. Gary has set up a dark room in the backyard where he develops pictures. But the main purpose of this hobby is to have a place where he can escape his family. He often spies on his wife and kids from the dark room, giving him a secret perspective on what’s going on at home.
Relationship Status… married to Caroline, the love of his life. They spend most of their time nowadays in a constant battle over the loyalty of their children and just about anything else they can find to fight about. Caroline listens in on Gary’s phone calls and pretends she hurt her back because Gary’s mother keeps calling and calling, forcing Caroline to run to the phone.
Challenge… admitting his depression. He must admit it to himself before he can admit it to his family. His wife has made something of a war out of proving to him that he’s depressed. She’s right, and deep down he knows she’s right. But he won’t give up the fight ‘til every morsel of hope has been stretched and stripped to the bone.
Personality… responsible but conniving. He hides his drinking from his family. He also hides just about every genuine thought or feeling. He’s not about to fold under the torrent of his depression, and he’ll lie his way through family life if it means he’s still thought of as the powerful patriarch of his household.
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