Category Archives: Just Can’t Get Enough

Back Fence is TONIGHT!

Back Fence PDX is happening tonight. The stories are simply magnificent and the storytellers are remarkable. This month’s intermission features belly dancers Miriam, Kalila, and Mahira of Bellypalooza

Purchase tickets here until 3pm. We only take cash at the door.

And steal that image and put it on your own blog, would ya?

Special thanks to Tyler and Dynagraphics for printing up the paper flyers. Dynagraphics rock, plus they live in a gorgeous deco building. You can see it if you click on that link. For your printing needs, check out Dynagraphics, and check out Tyler’s blog too — it has that new blog smell.



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Just Can’t Get Enough October 22nd

We are so excited to see everyone at the next Back Fence PDX event. October 22nd, Urban Grind NE — 2214 NE Oregon St. Doors open at 7, show starts promptly at 8. Come early for beer, wine and food!

Here’s something new: You can buy advance tickets. Go now!

Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door. We’ll only be taking cash at the door, so if you’re a plastic-only person, buy tickets here.

This time we have seven storytellers including San Francisco author and Porchlight co-founder Beth Lisick.

Announcing our storytellers:

San Francisco author and Porchlight co-founder, Beth Lisick. Beth Lisick is the author of two books, Everybody into the Pool and Helping Me Help Myself.

David Bragdon became the Metro Council’s first regionally elected President on January 6, 2003, representing the voters of the metropolitan region. Under David’s leadership as Council President, the Metro Council has undertaken new initiatives to preserve natural areas and protect water quality, support thriving neighborhoods, create jobs and economic prosperity, and improve our transportation network. He drove a taxi right here in Portland.

Sarah Gilbert was once an investment banker. Her transition to the dotcom world looks prescient in retrospect. Now she works from home managing financial blogs for AOL and writes away the wee hours after her three little boys fall asleep.

Sadie Medley has her finger in a whole bunch of pies. By day, she is a freelance graphic designer and creative thinker-chick. By late afternoon she can be found teaching people to stay calm while standing on their heads. In the early evenings she sings opera, and lately, she is obsessed with becoming a voice over actor. Her mutable, and restless personality make this type of life feasible.

Slim Moon still thinks of himself as a punk rocker, after all these years. After 17 years at record labels as founder of Kill Rock Stars and later briefly working as an “A&R guy” for the Warner Music Group, Slim is happy to now be pursuing his true calling in life – helping artists he loves – in the way that best suits him – artist management. Notable artists that Slim has worked with in his life include Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Miranda July, The Decemberists, The Gossip, and Deerhoof, among literally hundreds of others…

Tina Newton is the founder and color genius behind Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the company that makes the perpetually popular sock yarn, Socks that Rock. Tina has a fertile imagination and the practical creativity to support it. This energy is contagious and inspiring. She loves sharing her vision and working with others. This is the spirit of Blue Moon.

Dave Jarecki founded Breakerboy Communications to provide strategic messaging, copy and grant writing services to small businesses and non-profit organizations. Writing workshops started in 2005. He likes working with kids because they’re smarter and funnier than adults. Recently, a student in one of his workshops said, I have three weekends between now and next Sunday.

Bellypalooza consists of members from local belly dancing troupe Tigerlillys and solo-dancer Miriam. They enjoy shiny objects, phat beats, and womanly forms.

It’s going to be a great night!

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Just Can’t Get Enough



You’re never truly ready the first time you bleed, no matter how prepared you are. Once you’ve been through days of feverish hemorrhaging and boiling organs, you’ll know for certain you are being punished by an unholy force. No gentle spirit would allow such unjust suffering. Not dying from it afterwards feels unnatural.

In the third grade my mom told me what was coming. We sat on the floor of the living room, our backs against the couch, and she explained the physiological process of “becoming a woman.”

She informed me I was going to bleed once a month. There was a general overview of how babies were made, but only as far as it related to menstruation. Feminine hygiene products were discussed. Bloating, pain, and mood swings were mentioned briefly. She asked me, solemnly, if I had any questions. I can’t remember if I asked any. The only thing on my mind I dared not ask: “Are you crazy?”

Until that moment I had been living in a world of tire swing championships and crunching grasshoppers in the grass until dinnertime. Major highlights that year had been pierced ears and dancing at my favorite teacher’s wedding reception.

And now my mother was telling me that my uterus had an automatic self-cleaning cycle. It would cause pain and inconvenience and make me bleed from between my legs. And I had no say in the matter.

The idea of menstruation appalled me. How could such a thing be possible? It was ridiculous that blood letting and uterine shedding was part of being a woman. It was a story line from a twisted x-rated slasher film. It was unbelievable, and so I decided to not believe it. And then I put it out of my mind.

A couple of weeks into my seventh grade a calm ache simmered in my pelvis, and my heartbeat pulsed in my breasts. A sticky wet substance appeared in my underwear. I decided to ignore it.

By the time I staggered home after school, blood dripped down my leg and seeped into my sock. In the bathroom I peeled off my jeans, dripping dark inside and out. The amount of blood surprised me. I couldn’t believe it. That horrible, unnatural thing that I refused to believe would happen, actually happened.

My mother figured out what had happened when she came in to get the laundry from my room that night. I lay defeated in my footed pajamas, my underwear stuffed with heavy-duty absorbent pads, as she reiterated the major points of the talk we’d had years before. It sounded vaguely familiar.
A storm raged in my genitals. I imagined the churning pineapple in my womb, its bumpy skin scraping the inside, its crown poking through my cervix. It would explain sweet stickiness of the blood.

I went white-faced to school the next day, armed with several super-absorbent pads with useless adhesive strips and a note to excuse me from PE. All day I raced to the bathroom between classes, trying to stay ahead of the flow that gushed out of me.

I ignored the significance of  conversations cut short when I waddled by and women teachers I didn’t know asking me how I was feeling. I pretended I was not mortified by the smell of the deodorant pad, full with warm menstrual blood, wafting from my crotch. I paid no attention to whispers as I walked to my desk in the last class of the day, shaking and thirsty. The large crimson smear I had left on my chair yesterday, however, could not be ignored.


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Just Can’t Get Enough


Nora Robertson from Solanova

I moved to Romania for a year in 1996. There was a decaying Deco mall in Temesvar dropping chunks of leaded glass. My boyfriend’s turned up nose reddened in the cold under a fedora that an old Bulgarian restaurateur gave him, a remnant of commie Black Sea resort culture. As the plane had pulled away, Portland faded out beneath me in grayed-out swaths of rowhouses and boulevards. My boyfriend had another girlfriend, a Hungarian village girl who didn’t realize M and I were sharing a bed. There was a hotel in Iasi with white stucco and marrow-red curtains all down the gusting hallways, gypsy kiddos carrying mangy lambs in the smelly passageways of trains, a bright blue van on bright orange fire in front of lengths of unfinished apartment blocks. I tried to explain to Ildiko but was hindered by my lack of either Hungarian or the ability to sketch this in a socially tactful manner.

My mind turned into a little pocket Instamatic. I wanted to carry a super-8 camera and install a system of surveillance cameras throughout the entire region so I could adequately capture the intensity of the moment, which sometimes I couldn’t quite believe was happening. The time we were interrogated by the Serbian police and slept in a dairy factory, the laziness of 3 a.m. wrapping my hand around M’s groin and holding on as if for comfort, the first time I ever lived with a man. I came home and no one was as interested in these stories as I wanted them to be and this made me want to write a novel.

I moved to Portland and dumped M, or maybe he dumped me, it was hard to tell. First he moved out, then he made friends with B, then B and I started taking long smoke breaks during parties, the chili pepper lights glancing off the light yellow flecks in his moss-green eyes. I felt like I was melting into the crystalline structures of his irises, standing there inches away from the resiny wood smoke smell of his aftershave, and I totally forgot to notice how to describe them to myself later. Then M went down on his knees, literally, and asked me to move back in with him. B and I had already spent hours stroking each other’s hair, freaked out about who kissed who first on the stairs at Mt. Tabor Park and what that meant, taken snaps of me posing riding a brass lion the size of a VW Rabbit in B.C. There was no way M could get me back, for in B’s presence, somehow I didn’t need to record or monitor.

We moved in together and I learned to revel in the furry line of his happy trail, not that I got to follow it all that often. We noticed pigeons, and swans in Victoria Park, any pair of birds that mated for life basically. We mentioned these moments in birthday or anniversary cards. We wrote them in the inscriptions on books and mementos. He turned out to be more of a strictly affectionate person once we were living together, which was disappointing given my love of giving head, among other things. We took many photographs of our vacations together including some in different countries, of us remodeling the 1904 Victorian he bought, of him pretending to spank me with a 2’x4’ on Nye Beach, and I put them in photo albums with catchy captions. Before we got engaged, I cheated on him with an old boyfriend at my girlfriend’s wedding and admitted it, and he said he forgave me.

The birds turned into a symbol, and we put them on our wedding invitations. We tried to eat game birds at an anniversary dinner at a ruinously good restaurant and couldn’t do it. The sex had been the kind where you can’t focus on anything else but the sensations, the kind I wanted us to have. We went on a tour of Eastern Europe for our honeymoon and took a picture of me riding a brass lion the size of a VW Rabbit that we found in Prague. We went to all the places I went to with M in Romania, and many more. We put a pair of mating birds on our illustrated Jewish wedding contract, for which I ordered an enormous gold frame for and hung prominently in the hallway, a piece of paper I wound up burning later in a barbeque, not wanting to remember that moment anymore.

B left me, eight years in, out of what appears to have been a tragic sense of disappointment, at least from what he told me. The house we lived in is sold and gone, and now I watch the pale sky wash out from the patio in back of my new forties townhouse, a sluice of gray light over the glistening wet maple leaves, hoping for a fat orange harvest moon to come shock me into standing there, jaw dropped, thinking nothing at all.


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Just Can’t Get Enough

Love and Defecation


Adrianne Dow Young

From All 23 Bunnies and How To Eat That

Every once in a while, I read a news story about someone putting something in the microwave that they should not. It’s generally something alive and vulnerable like a puppy or baby or kitten. They are stories that have made me afraid of microwaves and the people who use them. It’s a fathomless idea– nuking something that you are going to put in your mouth– much less so nuking something that moves under its own power.

But the kitten hasn’t pooped and I’m out of ideas.

The microwave whirs ominously. A bowl of goat’s milk pudding liquefies on the carousel. In my hands squirms the loudest, hungriest, hamster-sized creature on the planet. She is scratching at my cleavage, clawing toward my heart, hoping to suckle directly from my aorta.

She takes the pudding from a 3 ml syringe. Her blue eyes squint and her mouth latches onto the tube. I press the milk into her. It’s like forcing life into her mouth and down her throat.

We had found her – small and fluffy and mew-yelling – on the corner of our property where feral cats have set up a colony. Crows had perched above her and were calling out to one another. They needed a couple more birds to show up and then they’d fall upon her. They’d surround her, a churning black cloud. Each wobble toward escape would meet with a peck. They’d go for her eyes first. Once she was blind, they’d hit the back of her neck until she was paralyzed. Once she couldn’t move, they’d eat her alive through her soft little belly.

The kitten screamed when I put her to my chest. I looked at the crows. They fell silent and waited.

She was going to die.

100% of the people who eat pickles die.

Earlier in the summer a nestling died in my hands. It turned its little head up toward me, looked at me bright and clear and then dropped motionless into my palm. It wasn’t a moment that boosted my confidence.

The microwave is incredibly efficient in warming up small amounts of goat’s milk pudding. Defrosting things –taking solid matter to a soft state – is much more difficult and I see suddenly why people put live things in the microwave. Microwaving live things makes a useless appliance an effective one.

I hold the kitten tight against my chest as I push the button that throws open the microwave door. She squeals. I pray that some demon doesn’t rush into the kitchen, pull her from my arms, put her into the lighted cavern, press “DEFROST” and “5” and “START” and turn her into goo.

You wouldn’t think this a possibility, but I didn’t think someone could look so brilliantly alive and die in the next second. It happens. One breath, they’re looking at you and in the next their blue eyes flutter grey and the light recedes from their body. Their right hand goes cold as it grips yours. It is in the warmest of moments you remember the cold sight of horror.

The kitten suckles madly and I review everything I’ve read about feeding it. Feed it belly down; feed it goat’s milk not cow’s milk; give it warm food not cold; if bubbles come out of its nose you are drowning it.

Most important: the kitten must poop. If it is over-fed, it might not poop. If it has cold milk, it might not poop. If it has cow’s milk it might not poop. If you don’t rub its genitals after feeding it, it might not poop. If you fucked up in grade-school, it might not poop.

The kitten’s stomach is as tight as a tick. I stroke its abdomen and it mew-screams. It’s hungry and full at the same time. It’s dying. I’m sure of it.

If only the microwave could help somehow. I turn away from the window and concentrate on holding the cat close. I’m not going to kill the kitten. I am not going to feel guilty when it dies. I will not go on a five-year bender if bubbles gurgle out of its nose.

More goat’s milk pudding and more belly stroking. It stretches with paws straight out and sucks like Super Hoover. Its flat little ears twitch in time with its suckling. The syringe disappears down her throat. She’s the shape of an eggplant. When I pull the empty syringe away, paws viciously box the vacant space between us.

More goat’s milk pudding. More rubbing, More urine. Bigger tummy. The kitten is so round that it looks like a billiard ball with a little cat’s head glued onto it.

She and I sit in the backyard in the sunlight. The peace of the day makes me suspicious. I roll her over onto her back and rub her abdomen in little circles. She mews lightly and looks up at me with a cocked head. Her eyes are bright and then they close. It’s a serene moment; a final poo-less moment.

The kitten is like a tube of toothpaste being squeezed. She looks at me amused and purring. Poo coils out of her. I clean her with baby wipes. She squirms in my lap. A clawless paw wraps around my pointer finger. It’s warm and alive.


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Just Can’t Get Enough


Intern Nathalie of Horrifying

Angela had great tits. The boys at school, they called them knockers because of the way one was constantly pushing at the other one, like a pillow fight beneath Angela’s tight school uniform. When she de-robed during P.E., she wore a bra, not the white, stretchy training kind, but the real deal, with black lace, under wire and cups that ran over with milky white flesh.

I didn’t want a bra. I was thirteen and the only thing that distinguished my breasts from the smooth, white plane of my chest was two angry, red bumps that looked like bites from a vicious mosquito. I didn’t need a bra. There was no point.

But that didn’t stop my mother, who saw a trip to the Dillard’s lingerie department as a right of passage. I hung my head as I eyed a 44F bra hanging from a mannequin like an emergency parachute. I wondered if mine would ever be that big. An itch from my right mosquito bite told me to dream on. The saleswoman was trying to be helpful. She smiled at me as she wrapped the tape measure around my bony ribcage, and then moved the tape measure up to my molehills.

‘She needs another year,’ she said.

‘You’re just a late bloomer.’

‘They’ll grow in time.’

But my mother was determined to make my adolescence as normal as possible, so she grabbed the smallest size of white, cotton training bra and headed for the cash register.

I didn’t want to wear it. ‘What exactly am I being trained for?’ I yelled, as my mother pointed me back into my bedroom to change into my bra before school. It was too tight and it left angry red marks on my skin.

The locker room became a peep show, girls showing off their pink training bras, and boasting of going up a full cup-size over the summer. I dressed with my mosquito bites facing the tiled locker-room wall. My uterus quavered monthly with a searing pain that sent me to the school nurse for a heating pad, but the visible sign of my womanhood was late to the party.

Then one day Angela pulled me aside after P.E. She told me it didn’t have to be this way. Then she reached into her polo shirt and from the depths of her bra came a wad of toilet paper. It was like I had believed the world was flat and someone had shown me a satellite image of the earth. Her breasts were still much larger than mine, but she gave her guarantee that it would work for me too.

We went to her house that night to practice. Opening a drawer, she pulled out a small, pink, lacy bra that she had outgrown. I put it on and she adjusted the straps until they fit around my small shoulders. Looking down into the cups, I saw a vast canyon between the soft pink material and my swollen chest. Reaching for a wad of toilet paper, Angela crumpled it into a ball and reached down into my right hollow and then my left. The result was underwhelming. But at the time, it was magic. I pulled my shirt back over my head and ran to the mirror. I had breasts. Or at least, it looked like I did.

‘But what about when I take it off?” I said.

‘Never take it off,’ Angela replied.

And so it went. From the time I was 13, I stuffed. I stuffed on rainy days when I would have to run to the restroom and refill my bra with dry batting. I stuffed at P.E. class when boys would accidentally-on-purpose run into my mounds du Charmin during soccer. I stuffed on my first day of high school, though by then I had moved on to pre-stuffed bras. Padded bras. Bras with gel inserts. Under-wire technology. Silicone chicken cutlets.

I sat in class pushing my tits together with my forearms, watching, waiting for them to sit pertly together like a lingerie ad, like Angela’s, who had gone to a different high school. I slept in my bra. I woke up in my bra. When I showered, my breasts were defeated, barely hanging off my chest, still the same duo of angry, red mosquito bites.

But once I put on my bra, they were reborn. They filled out new dresses. They were a hit at parties. They were groped in the backseat of numerous Toyota Corollas.

And no one ever noticed. Some girls have horror stories of trailing TP down locker-lined hallways. No one asked after mine. Sometimes, I wished they would.

Then I started working at Victoria’s Secret, my first after school job, a 30 percent discount. I spent hours untangling bra straps from one another, folding lacy panties, hanging satin negligees. Men would come in looking for their wives and girlfriends. They’d want you to model the lingerie for them. Bigger women would come in looking for support. But the bra sizes ended at 44D at Victoria’s Secret.

Most women wanted the same thing.

‘Can you make them bigger?’

‘Can you make them perkier?’

‘Can you make them younger?’

Pushing, pulling, straining in the dressing room with a 45 year old woman whose skin feels like tanned leather. Reaching into a 36C Very Sexy Lace bra in Cerulean, grabbing handfuls of tanned leather flesh and dragging it to rest at the surface. I’ve handled so many breasts that I can’t wash the scent of perfume and tit sweat out of my hands. My high school boyfriend meets me after work and unhooks my 30 percent-discount-purchase.

‘Do you like that?’

‘How does that feel?’

Tits, titties, knockers, ta tas, melons, funbags, boobs, all day, every day, jiggling and swelling in my brain. I don’t care about mine anymore.

And that’s when I quit. Not only Victoria’s Secret, but bras in general. My breasts have grown somewhat since I was 13, but are still on the pre-pubescent side. They pop through my t-shirts enough to state my sex but not enough to cause a traffic jam. My current boyfriend says they are perfect, because they fit into the palms of his hands.

I think they’re perfect too.


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Just Can’t Get Enough

By Overheard in PDX

I was so excited to do this Back Fence thing that guess I missed the part where Melissa said it was supposed to be a true story.

So I’m going to read my little soliloquy here anyway. But first I’m going to tell you the true part.

See, about six months ago, I had this dream where I died. No. It’s ok. It was in the dream, you know? But it was unlike those Freddie Krueger movies, you know, where if you die in the dream that means you Die. For. Real.

And I didn’t die for real. In fact the first thing I did was go take a leak. Because that’s what doctors always make you do after you have an operation. It’s what they call a sign of life.

Anyway, when I died in the dream, I got to find out what my last words will be. So I used that in the story. And that’s true part.


I am in the subway when the world burns. Some kind of cascading power failure sends my train crashing into another. I hear the crack of crumpling steel and the tubular thud of my head hitting the railing.

Now pain. Blackness. It seems like hours trying regain consciousness in the darkness.

Already in the tunnel I smell the smoke, sweet and acrid at the same time. There in the dark it all but chokes out the pale light from my cell phone that guides me to the surface.

And everything is burned: the trees, the buildings, the cars. Charred corpses everywhere. Black and steaming. Above, a sky of smoke blocks the sun.

I walk for a day and find no food or water. At the city center I come upon a wrecked city bus turned on its side.

Inside the bus, the bodies are fused, contorted, and burned, but I have to climb over them. Have to find food.

There. There behind the driver’s seat. A lunch box! Inside, a cheese sandwich in tin foil and a coke.

I down the coke in three or four swigs and sit on the empty curb to eat. One bite, something like Gruyere maybe. Still molten from the fire.

A kid watching, his eyes black vacant coal, his body badly burned. His hand is gone.

Here, kid. Take it.

The kid runs off without a word. How long can he last, I wonder?

Then I see the man watching me. He emerges from the shadows, black suit clean and free of soot and the foulness that surrounds us.

Forgive my English, he says. I am called Maecenas. I have water. Food. Shelter. Come. Please.

The bunker is many levels below the street. The elevator is stainless steel and smells of oil, like something new from the factory.

The dining room is simple, opulent, dark maple chairs and a white tablecloth. Inside, two men and two women stand to greet me in their formal clothes. They hand me a bottle of water. We do the introductions.

Meal One

First there is salad. I go for the Blue Cheese, croutons, and bacon bits. So hungry! The baguettes are like heaven. I could swim in these greens and the joy of stuffing myself, I swear. The others continue on to the other courses, but sated now I can only think of sleep.

Meal Two

Breakfast is a veggie skillet. Eggs, Green peppers, onions, potatoes, all smothered in a cheese sauce. I notice Robyn then. Young, gorgeous, incredibly buff. I tell her about how I used to get the same skillet at the Uptown Bar. Turns out she’s from Minneapolis.

Meal Three

Cheeseburgers for Lunch. Grilled with all the fixings. Sesame buns. Incredible. Turns out Maecenus was a chef whose family came into big money. I ask him to tell me more about the bunker. Can’t place his accent. Serbian, maybe.

Meal Four

Maecenus emerges from the cooler with large cuts of prime rib. The cooler is cavernous, shelves of everything from canned goods to freeze-dried meals. For some reason, I notice that the door can be bolted from the inside.

The Prime Rib comes and is marvelous. No need for a knife.

One of the two men is Jackson. Some kind of athlete, I’m guessing. He tells me how Maecenus saved him when world burned. The other man, a professor, has a similar story. He keeps checking his watch.

If there’s any humanity still out there, it will soon be gone, he says. I read a paper at Cambridge that says that in a food shortage, society will totally break down after the inhabitants miss their seventh meal.

I look at my plate and try to imagine what is going on out there. Starvation. Disease. Anarchy.

Meal Five

Brunch is crepes. Coffee. Fruit. Toast. An array of dishes laid out in perfection. The other girl, Angela, starts to open up to us. She ran away from home. Her father beat her when he found out she was pregnant.

Her story is captivating. No one notices as I stuff my backpack with baguettes. When everyone sleeps I sneak out. Up the elevator and back to the place where I found the boy.

He is hiding under the hulk of a fire truck. He won’t come out. I leave the food and make my way back. Then something stirs behind me. Footsteps maybe? No. There is no one. The world is a graveyard in cinder.

Meal Six

We are having soup and sandwiches when something crashes outside. Maecenus runs over to bolt the door and we hear pounding and screaming.

They’re here! He yells. How could this be? How could they find us? I look at my backpack. I have brought our doom!

Maecenus looks down. We are not going to make it. I’m so sorry. All the makings to rebuild the world and now this tragic fate.

He goes to the cabinet and takes a pill. I catch him as he collapses. He looks up at me. Almost peaceful as the door begins to buckle.

I hold him. Please. I have to know. Why me?

A long breathe. Then he says, I wanted to compassion to die last.

The door crashes open. The mob is tattered, burned, wild-eyed. In their hands crude weapons, pipes, clubs.

They’re coming for us. I throw the tray of bread at the opposite wall and they go for it, scrambling. I grab Robyn’s arm and we run toward the cooler.

The iron pipe comes down on my forearm. Compound fracture. Blood everywhere.

They have her.

I crawl to the cooler and pull the door closed just as the smallest of them tries to come for me.

It was the boy.

Meal Seven

Inside the cooler now. Cold. Terrible screams. Smoke smell. Pounding.

My arm is wrapped. Dead. Useless. It’s been days now and they keep trying the door. Now it sounds like a fire ax hacking at the hinges. They’ll be inside soon.

I scribble these words with my left hand and think of all the good fortune I’ve had in my life. My friends. My first Harley. The sun in Lisa’s hair on our Wedding Day. The birth of my son.

And then I think of Maecenus. So many questions. Was he right? Will compassion die here, now, with me? Or did it die long ago? And is that why the world burned?

No answers. Just swallow the pill now. But first, I have to figure out what I’m going to say when I go to meet God.

And then I know.

“I’m so grateful.”


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