Excerpts From a Diary 34

by silverapplequeen

[Holidays, 1988]

[November]

I feel much better today.  I slept most of yesterday – slept & read – but no sleeping today – well not right now – I’m gonna get the laundry done & finish cleaning the side room – I really want to get the whole house clean this week – I got get back to work next week – October was such a waste – between me feeling low & Teddy’s teeth – seems like we were always sleeping!  Of course we only got our oil last Friday – this October was cold & rainy – so lying down covered up was the best way to be anyway – but oh well.  It’s a new year – spiritually – organically – time to gather strength – the winter solstice will be here soon – like cold & dormant plants waiting for warmth & spring, I will wait – in six months, I wanna be shifting into high gear – sorry for the mix-up in metaphors – but I’ve smoked 3 bowls & I’ve caught a buzz – time to get to work.

***

I went downtown today – to the library – to get a check from the Credit Union for Teddy & to get books for me.  Always need new books to read!

I’m still bleeding – sporadically – but I feel so much better.  A new woman – really!  I mustn’t do too much too fast, though.  I set up my office – with Teddy’s help – clean out the side bedroom & set up the desk – made book cases out of spare boards & cinder blocks – put pale blue drapes in the windows – after 7 years of this room being no more than a glorified closet – a dumping ground for all the books, magazines & artwork I couldn’t fit in to the other rooms – space being so dear even in an apartment as large as this one – after 7 years, it’s finally a real room!  It’s so very cozy, too.

***

In my office.  I brought out my old radio – the GE AM/FM cheapo radio I took to college & Teddy had in his office at work until last Christmas.  I wasn’t sure it was going to work – it’s been in the sunroom for over a year – but hey!  I turned it on & tuned it in & the Beatles are on – a good omen – a very good omen.

I’m still putting pictures on the walls.  My Mike Ramsey poster fell off the wall the other night & was injured beyond repair – it was injured when I put it up.  That took up half the opposite wall so now I have that space to fill – I may do a bit of drawing this afternoon – unpacking my art supplies has regenerated the artist in me.  Should I draw or should I write?  Or should I bake those cookies I have been thinking about?  Oh, I have so much to do!  Well, they say it’s gonna be a long, cold winter – I have lots of time!

***

I woke up last night – around 5 a.m. – in the worst agony – another yeast infection – seems I can’t get a break – my poor cunt – I was reading Our Bodies, Ourselves & it was saying that being on the pill, consuming lots of sugar & cuts & abrasions all contribute to yeast infections – so I guess I could make some improvements in my life!  Cuts – of course – come from those stupid dollar bills at stag parties – I knew from the start that there would be problems with that – but once you start how do you stop?  I really only did it the first time to be a good sport – because Dick Bell – the first guy to put a dollar bill in his mouth – was a good guy & he wouldn’t take no for an answer anyway – & all the guys were cheering me on – & you know how quickly & easily cheers turn to jeers if you don’t play along & be a good sport about it.   But sometimes it seems like that’s all I do – deep knee bends grabbing dollars.  I mean – I’m a fucking dancer – let me dance!  Oh well – that’s life – I’m just glad I have an understanding gynecologist, a prescription plan & a nearby pharmacy.

***

Paulie’s home – man, can you ever tell!  It’s like living on top of a disco – at least it’ll be quieter in my office.  It’s windy & pouring rain – a good day for immobility – bowls of weed – cups of tea – a good book – a murder mystery on TV – sleep –

***

I slept until 11:30 a.m. today – it was so excellent to luxuriate in bed – thinking about my dreams – I had thousands of dreams last night & this morning – I almost wrote last night & tomorrow – perhaps that’s a prophecy – of course I dream every night – I almost wrote almost all the time – also true –

***

They’re arguing downstairs.  It’s been loud since they all got home – not their usual loudness – there’s a difference – the way the doors get slammed – it’s not the usual slamming a door because they don’t know how to close a door properly – it’s slamming a door to make a point –

An hour later.  They’re still at it.  When I started writing at 9:30, I was going to write about something else, but their arguing sidetracked me & now I can’t remember.  Same story this time!

Oh – Jimmy stopped by & turned us on & now I want another line – ten more lines – I’m on my second last beer – oh boo hoo hoo –

The wind is howling.  The draft coming in the front windows & doors is incredible.  Tomorrow I suppose I’ll duct tape the cracks –

I want another line!

***

Lazy morning – reading & dozing – I busted ass all day yesterday – cleaning out the closet in my dressing room & then of course my dressing room – it was a really big chore.  I have been cleaning this apartment like a madwoman all month long – this place looks great.  But I’ve really been neglecting my reading & writing.  I’m gonna sit & read – & watch “Perry Mason” at noon – then at 1 p.m. – clean my office – it’s a mess with all my new books piled everywhere.  Next week I’m going to scrub the kitchen & bathroom & then I’ll be done until New Year’s – except for the everyday dusting & vacuuming – of course – housework never goes away!  I need an angel in the house!

Oh well – I’m gonna read until noon & then duct tape the front windows & door & the dining room windows – it’s so windy & so drafty – the furnace is working overtime.

Noon.  Watching “Perry Mason”.  I cleaned the kitchen this morning – washed the walled & mopped the floor – after “Perry Mason”, I’m gonna clean the bathroom.  I am getting sick of housework.  It’s all I’ve done lately.  I mean – my house is immaculate – but I’m sick of being domestic!  No – that’s not true – actually – I can hardly wait until we go to Wegman’s tomorrow & shop, shop, shop, shop – & then come home & I’ll bake pies – stuff & roast my turkey – & everything else I do for Thanksgiving – yum!

I’m hungry.  I wonder if the kitchen floor is dry enough to walk on – I’ll open a can of soup.  I practically live on soup.  I don’t mind – I love soup!

***

Thanksgiving Day.  My pies are baked – my turkey is in the oven – smelling heavenly – we just ate ham & swiss sandwiches – I’m drinking beer – for breakfast we had a walnut kuchen & numerous cups of coffee – the only problem is that we have no weed – I was really depressed about that earlier – depressed & pissed off –

Teddy almost sliced my fingers off helping me in the kitchen – he was cutting the acorn squash in half – the cut on my middle finger in really deep.  I almost got sick when I was holding it under the cold water.  It hurts to hold a pen so I have to stop writing.  Besides – looking at the Band-aid – I’ve realize it’s started bleeding again – probably from the pressure of holding a pen –

***

Oh day of days!  We finally got our kitty-cats – a sweet little black one with tiny white paws & a white “bib” under her chin – & a lovely grey ball of fur – Missy & Shadow.  I’ve waited so long & now I have kitty-cats – my “babies,” I shamelessly call them.  We brought then home in Danielle’s cat carrier – we took them back to my dressing room – where Teddy set up the litter box & then we set them in the box so they had a clear idea of where & what it is!  They’ve been in the dressing room for the last hour.  We’ve taken some pictures of them – when we could coax them out from under the bed – they’re very naturally still afraid of us.  Plus – they’re babies!  But when we retreat – they come out, wrestle with each other, climb on the bed, jump off, ambush each other.  They’re so adorable!  I hope they lose their fear of us quickly!

Later.  Teddy just reported that they’re sleeping in the chair between the stuffed toy animals – Shadow’s stretched out along one side & Missy’s next to him, her head on his shoulder.  They’re out cold.  Maybe when they wake up, they’ll be hungry – I have food ready for them in the kitchen.

The Bills are losing.

Afternoon.  They woke up so we grabbed them & brought them out to the living room.  I held Missy & Teddy held Shadow – then we let them go.  Shadow ran back to the dressing room but Missy’s still here.

Evening. They spent most of the day in the dressing room – & now they’ve come out & eaten – they must have been starving – & now they’re exploring the dining room.  They still run away whenever either Teddy or I approach them – but they’re becoming bolder.

***

They definitely feel more at home today.  They’re still mostly hanging out in my dressing room – but they come out to the kitchen to eat.  Shadow does anyway.  Missy’s a lot shyer.  I have then two balls of yarn & there was yarn all over the floor – around the legs of the chair – the bed – books pushed off the bookcase – it’s a glorious mess!  I rolled the yarn back up & natural they were chasing the ends – oh, I was dying!  Then I rolled the purple ball of yarn to Missy – who attacked it – she picked it up in her mouth – & disappeared under the bed – leaving a trail of yarn – which, of course, was immediately attacked by Shadow.  They play so rough – attaching each other – wrestling – swatting at each others tails – oh they’re so lovable.  I sit in the doorway & watch.  They’re stopped running away from me but they’re still cautious.

Now it’s sleepy time.  Missy’s under the chair & Shadow’s under the bed near the bookcase.  Both raise their heads & blink their eyes sleepily when I approach.

Night.  Oh, they are totally ours.  When Teddy came home – after his bath & a few bowls – we went back & picked them up & brought them out to the living room & petted them until they fell asleep again.  When they woke up, they started exploring in earnest.  All evening long, they’ve been with us – playing, hiding, ambushing us or each other, eating kitten chow, falling asleep, waking up, exploring – they’ve just been sleeping on the chair next to me – now Shadow’s awake – barely.  He’s trying to pay attention to Teddy scratching his leg – but his eyes keep closing & he’s leaning over.  Nope!  Now he’s stretching & yawning & wants my lap.

***

Teddy brought home a large box with hole cut out – one on top, two on either side – for the kitty-cats to play in.  I gave them a ball of yarn – actually two balls of yarn tied together – it’s all over my dressing room – they’re such playful kittens!

***

Watching “Perry Mason”.  I have an awful headache – must be a migraine – I took a Contac this morning & 4 aspirin at 10:30 – it’s a doozy – will not go away.  After “Perry Mason”, I’m gonna have a cup of soup & lie down in my dressing room where the kitty-cats are already asleep.  They were wild Indians this morning.  They played all morning in the living room.  They are definitely feeling more & more at home here.  They’re eating more too – another sign that they’re feeling at home.  I love them so!

***

[December]

10 a.m.  I felt like shit yesterday.  A terrible headache – all day long.  Today’s the first day I’ve woken up without a headache for a long time.  Either I need an adjustment or I need glasses.  I should call Felix’s friend Alan, who works at Council Opticians.  I bet I need glasses – no one can argue that my eyes don’t work overtime!

I called Tish this morning & found out that I sent her Christmas present to the wrong address!  She assures me that it’ll be forwarded.  She’s dying to see our kitty-cats.  I mean – why not – they’re the finest cats in the world.

Shadow has tackled Missy & is licking her ear.  They’re so fierce with one another – they chase each other – tackle each other – scratch each other – Shadow bites Missy until she cries – Missy asks for it, though!  & then they are so affectionate with each other – Shadow always licks Missy after he bites her! – they sleep intertwined – hugging each other almost passionately.  The last two nights they’ve slept with us – at least part of the night.  They wake me up when they wrestle – Shadow jumping on Missy – Missy crying & fighting back.

I covered the couch completely with blankets & the green chair also.  The green chair is their favorite chair – it’s right next to a radiator – it’s now covered with an old lime green blanket – used to cover coolers at Sherkston – & the old gold afghan.  That’s where they are now – asleep.

***

The hockey game is on – I’m reading a new cookbook from the library – I should be basting black lace on my red plaid dress.  Teddy & I are camped out on the couch – the kitties are playing chase, catch & wrestle.  This is the first Saturday night I’ve had off in months & months.  Darryl has called several times & begged & pleaded for us to invest $25 – $35 – $50 – in whatever deal he has pending – but we went to the store & got groceries & cat food.  I wouldn’t feel like going anywhere – least of all an unheated, dirty, dreary little room in a Lackawanna drug house.  I’m perfectly happy in my warm, clean, cozy, little homey apartment.  With the finest little kitties in the world.

***

It’s snowing – the first real snow of the season, at least around here – upstate had snow way back in October – & the southerntier of course had snow.  It’s gotten really cold – the days are so short – soon is the winter solstice.  The snow looks so pretty.  We’re supposed to get a ton.  I hope so.  I love it cold – I love it snowy – especially in the twilight – the Christmas lights glowing in the windows – the radiators softly hissing – two little kitty-cats purring at my feet.  Cozy – homey – quiet – peaceful.  I think I’ll take a nap before I start having to get ready for tonight’s job.  I hate to admit it but I have absolutely no interest in working – it’s so comfy here – I hate to leave.  I don’t feel like doing coke & I don’t feel like drinking.  Oh well – that’s life.

***

It’s cold, snowy & wintry.  It’s supposed to get really cold tonight – record cold – 0 to minus 5.  We’ve done nothing but smoke joints & pig out!  I feel so fat!  Who cares!  Not me – at least not at the moment.

“No” seems to be the word most said around here lately – the cats are getting into everything!  We have a squirt bottle with which to discipline them – but it’s so hard!  They have the most adorable faces – they’re so sweet – oh, we love our kitties so much!

Last night’s party was really weird – it was held at Light’s Out, a bar one block from The Pipka Palace & a lot of their regulars were there.  So many guys told Teddy or me, “That guy is an asshole” or “The groom is an asshole” – I don’t think anyone liked anyone else.  I ran into Dorrie, who used to barmaid at The Pipka Palace – & Arista, one of the dancers – who looked more emaciated than ever.  She complained that she couldn’t watch – or steal – the show – “I’m used to being invited in, not kept out” – oh well, that’s life.  Everything changes.

When we got home, we ordered wings for me & a sub for Teddy.  We went to bed around 10:30 or 11 – I can’t remember.  It was so great to sleep well & wake up feeling rested & not hung over.  Real good!  & it was even better to count my money this morning!  Not to feel all depressed because we had spent it all partying out in Lackawanna!  I prefer our nights when we’re not doing coke!

***

In a good mood!  It’s cold, cold, cold – but sunny – a beautiful winter day.  The windows have ice patterns all over them.  It looks really cold out – people walking by all bundled up – puffs of steam coming out of their mouths – you can almost hear the snow crunching as they walk along – it’s nice & warm in here.  The kitty-cats have been running around like wild Indians but now they’re falling asleep next to me on the couch here.  I have lots to do today – clean the house – clip article from the newspapers – laundry – & then write, write, write.  Tonight when Teddy gets home, I’m gonna knit my scarf & make Christmas ornaments – I’ve got a whole bunch of junk I’ve saving all year with which to make ornaments.  Oh well – better get going –

***

Never got around to writing yesterday – too many visitors & phone calls!  It was almost supper time before I got the vacuuming done!  I did make some ornaments last night.  Boy – do I ever save everything or what!  I have enough stuff that I could make ornaments all day – everyday – for a week – a month – & open a shop & sell them –

I’m typing up my notes on The Spiral Dance.  I had them stretched over two diaries & you know how messy my diaries are.  This way I can put them into a notebook & make that the start of my very own Book of Shadows.

Missy & Shadow are in here with me.  They were in the living room cuz of the big windows.  I put my dancing blankets on the couch in here, then fetched them from the living room.  I petted them for a while – quite a while – I love to hear them purr!  Now they’ve settled in & their eyes are closed.  The rock’n’roll radio doesn’t seem to bother them.  Now it’s time to find out if the typewriter bothers them.

They don’t even notice.  Well – they looked up a little at first but now they’re out cold.  They’re so adorable!  I love them so much!  Well – back to work.

Teddy’s home.  He brought me half a pound of burger & a large potato, which will be transformed into Salisbury steaks & home fries.  He also brought a 20 lb. bag of cat litter that had been broken into – he got it for $1.10.  What a great deal!

He’s in the tub now.  I’ve put away my notes – although I could type more.  My back is really killing me, though.

Shadow’s trying to jumps into Teddy’s tub – well, if he does, I’m sure he won’t do it twice!  Now he’s on the end table by one of the two windows, looking outside.  It’s twilight – the snow is falling.

***

Just reading over the notes I transcribed yesterday.  All summer long – as I was transcribing poetry & notes out of my diaries – I left these alone – I’m not sure why – so I could do them all at once, I suppose.  I read The Spiral Dance twice in November 1987 – the first time in awe – the second time, taking notes – & then again in February – just before I had to give it back to Ginny P. – to whom the book belonged.  All summer long – I have read all the books I could get my hands on – all the books about the Goddess I could find – & books about women’s spirituality & the history of women in religion & the tarot.  Now I want to start practical adoration – I have started collecting the necessary tools – I have been meditating – I have been praying to the Goddess in my own inept way.  I think – in the early mornings – after Teddy goes to work – before I eat – before I dress & get going on the day’s work – I think that’s a good time to meditate – to think – to work – to learn about the Goddess – within me & without me.

***

I had lots of fun yesterday.  It was cold, though!  I walked up to the subway & by the time I got to Main Street I was so cold I felt like going home.  I told myself not to be such a sissy.  I thawed out on the train.  I got off at Allen-Hospital & walked up Allen Street.  The wind was in my face & it was cold!  Actually – my face was the only part of me that was cold – I was very warmly dressed – thick tights under my jeans – a pink turtleneck – my tan wool sweater – very warm – & my old-lady overcoat.  I tied my bandana on my head – tying it like a scarf under my chin like an old Polish lady.  It looks funny but it’s the best way to tie a scarf – I look good that way too!  I miss my black babushka – that was the warmest scarf – it was stolen at a stag – the sad fate of so many favorite items!

Anyway – after thoroughly exploring Allen Street, I walked up Elmwood Ave to the store called Emma.  It was quite warm in there – I stayed & looked at everything.  Oh, I wished I had lots of money – so many books I wanted – I could have spent a couple hundred dollars easily.  I only had $6!  I bought a couple of cards – I wanted to buy something.  They had jewelry too – silver, beadwork – handmade stuff.  I saw a beautiful pentagram – set in a circle made of silver – with a white stone in the middle – on a silver chain.

Then I walked up North Street to Delaware – Delaware to Chippewa – Chippewa to Main – Main Street to Main Place Mall.  Checking out different shops as I walked.

At the Mall, I checked everything out – buying a bookmark for Teddy at Walden books.  It has a cow on it – that’s why I bought it.  Leaving the Mall, I saw a guy walk out ahead of me.  That looks like Paulie, I thought but a guy in a coat, hat, dark glasses & a thick mustache could be anyone.  I tailed him for a while & decided that it was Paulie.  “Hey Paulie!”  He didn’t recognize me at first in my old Polish lady disguise.  We walked down Church Street – past Police Headquarters – past Saint Joe’s Cathedral – all cleaned up – I hardly recognized it – down to where Paulie parks when he’s working.  It was cold down there!  Jumped into the truck & thawed out smoking a fat joint & drinking beers.  He dropped me at the library 45 minutes later & I was tuned!  I immediately went to the ladies’ room where I took a long pee, fixed my make-up, put on perfume & freshened my breath.  I used the card catalog – looking for specific books – but the books weren’t on the shelves, of course.  I got out 8 books anyway – sometimes the book I want isn’t on the shelf but another one is that’s every bit as good.  I have no problem finding something to read!

After that – I went home – it was already past 2 p.m. & I had been out since 10 a.m.  I was tired – I almost fell asleep on the subway.  You know how that is – go go go all day & the first time you sit down – it’s sleepy time.  Anyway – I didn’t go to sleep – I didn’t read, either.  I watched these two old ladies – they were identical twins – they were dressed identically – down to their winter boots – hair done exactly the same.  They talked a great deal – their mouths moved the same way & their hand gestured the same way too.

It seemed to take hours to walk up Minnesota Ave.  School was letting out – there were children everywhere.  The crossing guard was perched on the far corner as I crossed Parkridge Ave.  I was so glad to get home.  I was so glad to see my kitties.  I ate lunch – then curled up on the couch – the kitties curled up with me – & slept until almost 5 p.m. – which is when Teddy got home.

***

I feel so tired.  Everything I eat makes my stomach ache unbearably & then turns to diarrhea.  I wanted to do so much today – make cookies – type recipes – clean the house.  I really wanted to finish When God Was A Woman – what a great book that is!  A great piece of scholarship!  I would love to meet Merlin Stone & ask her – I don’t know – dozens of questions.  But it makes me look at the Bible totally differently – even the Greek & Roman myths.  Everything I’ve ever learned.

All I’ve done is straighten up a little bit & take out the garbage.  I laid down on my office couch & went right out.  I vaguely remember Shadow & Missy jumping up & settling in.  I missed Teddy’s 11:30 call.  I guess people came to the door – I was out.  It was Paulie’s stereo that woke me up – & even then – it seemed to come from a long ways away – not just from downstairs.

Even now I’m having trouble getting going.  Naturally – I have “Perry Mason” on – & I’m getting hungry, so I must be feeling better.  I was going reheat some chicken wings – maybe I should stick to chicken soup.

***

Winter Solstice – Yule – the shortest day of the year.  I was up early this morning – reading – & finishing –  When God Was A Woman.   It’s grey today – a uniform blanket of clouds covering the entire sky.  I’m warm in the kitchen – baking cookies – Christmas Cut-outs – Chocolate Snowflakes.  After I bake, I’m gonna take a bath & do my hair – we’re going to Teddy’s cousin Rob’s in Conesus Lake to pick up the killer weed this afternoon.  On the way home, we’re going to get a Christmas tree.  I can hardly wait – it’s gonna be a nice trip.  Tonight we’ll decorate the tree & smoke killer joints & eat cookies!

***

We never got to Conesus Lake on Wednesday.  We ended up in Lackawanna – partying with Darryl & his brothers.  We went to Conesus Lake on Thursday.  It was the nicest trip – on the way home, we rated houses by their Christmas displays.  It was so much fun!

I did a Christmas party today at Bonnie’s Lounge– Sheridan Dr. near Kenmore Ave. – at 4 p.m. – I have another one to do at 1 a.m. Chevy workers with their Christmas bonuses!  Always a good time!  Everyone is in a good mood & everyone is generous!  Tomorrow we can go to Radio Shack & K-Mart & Wegman’s.  I can hardly wait.  I love Christmas & Christmas parties & Christmas tips.

***

Christmas Day.  The sun is just peeking through.  It’s been cloudy – sunny – windy – snowy – clear – this – that – the other thing – all day.  Changeable weather – moody like me.  We’ve been having the nicest Christmas – I woke very early this morning – maybe 6 or 6:30 – I could hear Paulie waking his kids by booming out – “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!” – I know he had to work today – he must have wanted to see them open their presents before he had to go in.  I could hear their excited voices – “Has Santa been here?” – & their footsteps running from the back of the house to the front before I fell asleep again.  Teddy & I got up around 9 a.m.

We’ve been watching movies – “The Glenn Miller Story” & “Angel in My Pocket” – & now a program about the blizzard of 1888.  We got great presents as usual – new sneakers & new notebooks for me.  An ice cream maker from Mom & Bob – I’m so excited!  We love ice cream!

***

A grey cloudy day.  New snow on the tree limbs & roof tops.  Teddy had to go back to work today – poor dear!  We both agreed that this holiday was one of the nicest we’ve ever had.

The only bad news is that on Friday, Danielle’s cat Saranac was hit by a car & killed.  He was twelve years old.  She’d had him longer than Doug.  She’s nearly inconsolable – & no wonder – cats make the best friends.  Saranac was one of the nicest cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

***

Arghhhh – I’ve got a cold – a real bad head cold – I’ve been blowing my nose non-stop.  I slept for a while this morning – I felt good when I got up but now I’m feeling lousy again.  I’m watching “Perry Mason” & sipping chicken soup.  My stomach is mildly upset – I think it’s from sniffing so much.  I ran out of kleenix long ago.  The only roll of toilet paper is in the bathroom so I’m using a rag to blow my nose with – I’m on my second rag.  I feel pretty miserable.  It’s been a tough week!  Got my period – got a cold – 1988’s going out with a vengeance!  There’s so many things I want to get done – maybe I can stand a few hours behind my typewriter – I can barely hold up my head.  Teddy’s bringing me Contac when he’s coming home but that’s not until 4 p.m.  Oh well – guess I’ll have to hang in there.

***

Still hanging in there.  The Contacs are doing a lot of good but I feel so delirious.  I walked into my office & looked at my work – all nicely laid out & arranged from yesterday – but I couldn’t get into it.  I’m watching “The Price is Right” & reading Hedy Lamarr’s autobiography.  The cats are playing with their Christmas toys.  They are really wild this morning.  Into everything!

***

New Year’s Eve.  Still feeling like shit but getting ready to go over to Doug & Danielle’s for the evening.  It’s just going to be the four of us tonight.  It seems really strange – just a few years ago, we were having major-sized parties – either at our place or over at Wayne Johnson’s – but now everyone has kids – except Teddy & me – & everyone wants to stay at home.  The main thing I hear is that it’s “too hard” or “too expensive” to get a sitter.  Which really means that everyone is getting too damn old to party.

I guess I shouldn’t complain – we’re going to have some coke – Jesse came by yesterday with a couple of 8-balls & we managed to save some for tonight – & we have weed & lots to eat.  But I miss how it used to be – the crowd of friends – everyone getting together – I can tell everything is changing.

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