Being a living human being is never easy. To cope with the difficulty, Gary spent weeks and months compiling complex lists and decision trees, and made sure to run through them repeatedly until they were automatic and totally reliable. This was how he would live his life, how he would survive the conditions in which he found himself.
The system worked fantastically until about the time Gary turned twelve, when he and his family moved to a different state, his parents began to work at home, the family dog ran away, and he began to experience puberty. At each major change, he told himself he would just need to develop a modified routine. Before long, working on the routines was itself the only consistent routine, and Gary was perpetually behind on his reaction to every aspect of his life as a human being.