Inhuman Swill : Misunderstandings

"Those are HUGE!"

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So, on the way home from the art fair yesterday, Laura and I stopped at our local Trader Joe's to pick up a few necessities. The store has recently been remodeled, and everything's been moved around. We couldn't find the bread aisle, so when we rounded a corner and saw a couple of young men in Trader Joe's vests chatting, we stopped and asked them for directions.

Laura's arms were folded. Suddenly one of the guys pointed toward her chest and exclaimed, "Those are huge!"

All of stared at him in confusion, including the guy's buddy. I couldn't for the life of me imagine what he was talking about.

"Your bracelets?" the guy said. "You know."

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Every time I get cash at a Citibank ATM, I misread its farewell message as follows:

Thank you and goodbye. Especially goodbye.

Of course, it really says, "Especially thank you," but I never realize this until I'm already out the door, having obligated the uppity machine with a hasty departure.

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I'm not sure why I'm thinking about this today. Maybe because she was the first friend I ever took with me to Sesame Street. (You've heard about the latest trip if you read Eleanor's journal, though I may eventually have more to say about it myself.)

I met her two years ago, more or less. "Oh, come on," said Rob, dragging me to another bar in the Village at one in the morning. "Just one more drink." Rob would soon be moving to Seattle, so I agreed.

If it weren't for Rob, I never would have started talking to the two German women sitting near our table. With the notable exception of Laura, who I would meet two months later, I don't pick up women in bars. But somehow she and I started talking, and before you know it she was invited to Rob's going-away party, and her suspicious, ill-tempered friend was dragging her out of the bar, and she was throwing a "Help me" look back at me over her shoulder.

Miracle of miracles, she showed up at the going-away party a couple of days later. Rob was handing a journal around the table, asking his friends to write something in it. My new German friend spent a long time over her entry. Rob showed me later what she had written. It was all very dark and poetic, and one line of it stuck in my head: "I'm a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl." This disturbed me quite a bit, but it also attracted me—the way some people are attracted to knives, I'm sure.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

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missionary
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William Shunn

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