healing thing I did,” says Pinado. “More than anything else, that distracted me and made me feel good.”
Pinado was finally released from the hospital in January 1992. The following May, right on schedule, he got married. That July, exactly one year from his original start date, he reported to his job at ARCO. “The company held my job for me,” he says, adding, “They were incredible throughout the whole thing.”
Pinado wanted nothing more than to get back to normal in every way, but that proved challenging and frustrating, and he had very little patience with the process. The people around him were kind and understanding, but, ironically, that was hard to take, too. “I had to get my blood tested once a week,” he recalls. “People treated me very delicately. I had some real short-term memory problems so I’d get confused easily. It was very difficult.” But Pinado made steady progress.
In 1994, he took a job with Coca-Cola and moved back to Atlanta. In 1995, his daughter, Kori, was born. In 1997, five years after his ordeal began, a clean blood test rendered him off
icially cured. Pinado, 41, is currently a management consultant and his family now includes a son, Cole.
“I have the life that I always thought I’d have and I’m so grateful for that, but I’ve never reflected on it much. I just haven’t had time, and I guess it’s really just not my way,” he says. “I know that after what I went through, people expect you to be different in some deep way, but I’m not. I was so focused on getting my life back to where it left off, that that’s what I did and now I just keep moving forward.
“I’m probably more cautious, especially with my kids-which is pretty funny given how I was as a kid. I guess I know now that things can happen. Maybe it’s a false confidence, but I definitely feel like, whatever does happen, I can handle it. I can handle anything.”
Try Anything, Fear Nothing
Zola Mashariki’s résumé reads like a high achiever’s dream: president of her Brooklyn Technical High School senior class, award-winning student at Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, and so on. Looks like a seamless ride from Brooklyn to the big leagues. But, like any résumé, what it doesn’t show is the crises of faith along the way-or the moments of truth.
After a friend dropped out of Harvard Law, Mashariki was so shaken that she sat down at her computer to try to assess in writing where she was and where she was headed. “One of my best friends [had left the school] and I couldn’t figure out why I was still there,” she says. “I had been a mostly creative person in undergrad, and in law school I felt unfocused. So I wrote a personal statement to figure out who I was. I wrote it as if I was applying to school-’My name is Zola, I’m 21 years old, my goals are … , my activities