Death, Family, Love, Memory Lane, This is my Soul, Uncategorized

To The Friend Who Broke Up With Me

goodbye

Dear Former Friend,

Salutations!

I always laugh when I see that word. It reminds me of you and how funny and witty you are. I miss you, but that, just like my feelings for this Charlotte’s Web themed greeting, is fading.

I had always prided our friendship in the fact that no matter where we went, we always came back to each other. It could be months or years, and we would always pick up, judgement free, and laugh and love like no time had ever passed. I know why you broke up with me, and I don’t blame you. You were sick of chasing me around, trying to pin down a date so you could get me to open up and spill my guts to you. And maybe I needed that. What you didn’t know when you texted me those unnerving words, “I am not going to contact you anymore. I love you….” I was already waist deep in heartache.

It had been unbearable to get out of bed in the mornings, and unbearable to step foot inside the apartment at night. The last few months had been spent tip-toeing through life, afraid to wake the beast of a man who I was once madly in love with.

Part of me wanted to see you so badly. I missed you for years. I missed your stories, and that contagious laughter…. all of our silly gossip. Another part of me did not want you to see me like this; fat and distracted, disgusting in my own skin.

I started writing these words over 3 years ago. It took me that long to be able to say these things to you in a passive blog post that I don’t think you will even see. Maybe I don’t want you to see it. Maybe I don’t want you to know how much it hurt to lose you; how much it still hurts when I go through old pictures of us having a dinner party in my mom’s kitchen or some random night out at a karaoke joint. I am sad to have seen this friendship end. Maybe it was supposed to end. Maybe our time together had run the course.

We were friends a lifetime ago, maybe two. I still think about you often, but I don’t miss you anymore. I hope your life is everything you ever wanted it to be. I hope you are happy. I have made new friends, and I also have old friends. I have friends who I have yet to meet. None of these can replace you and I wouldn’t even try. I know I am not totally healed, but I am very close.

Thank you. Thank you for many years of fun friendship. I am sure we both learned a lot from each other and grew into adults in each others care.

I cherish you. Be well.

xoxo

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Cats, Death, I love cats!, Life, Love, Memory Lane, small joy, Uncategorized

Where There is Life

There is a window in my living room that is full of plants. There are at least 15 plants crammed in or near the only window in the main room of the loft space. It may seem like a lot, but in reality, it’s not nearly enough.

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My cat of 16 years recently died. Well, she didn’t die per se, but I was forced with having to make the choice of giving her back to the universe. That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The night before I took her to the vet, I sat with her on the couch and we shared the better part of a rotisserie chicken. She ate until she couldn’t move.

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I sat there with her for some time, thinking about the first night she spent in my care. My boyfriend at the time (BAT) and I wanted cats and had certain criteria: I wanted an all-black cat so I could name it “Mr. T” and he wanted 2 cats so one would never be lonely. It was a Sunday and we had been to countless shelters. No one wanted to adopt to us because we were in college. Around closing time, we found this dumpy little pet store in Shirley, NY and they had some cages with kittens, ready to be adopted free with $20 purchase.

And there they were, these two little scared babies – one all black, the other a mottled grey and cream. They were terrified and scratched me until I bled, but I loved them the minute I saw them.

After spending the obligatory $20, the kitties were packed up and took their very first and only trip ever to Walmart. The little babes were a little scared in their carrier, bumping around in the cart, and stayed huddled and quiet, snuggled together in complete fear. About $200 later, as we finished checking out, the store manager came over and kicked us out for having live animals in the store. Dick.

After loading the stuff in the car and checking on the babes, I see that they have peed all over the carrier. We took them out and put them in the backseat so the carrier could be cleaned. Once all tidy, the kittens were gathered to be put back in, but we could only find one. The fucking horror that ensued after realizing the little grey one was missing was incredible, not even 1 hour after getting these creature, we already lost one.

The Walmart security guard came around with flashlights and helped us look for the kitten. After about an hour, it started to rain and we lost all hope. BAT and I went home a little sad with one scared kitten in tow.

The next morning, BAT came in excited and asked me to go out to the car. There, sitting on the dashboard, was the missing grey kitten. I ran inside to grab the black kitten, affectionately named Mr. T, and put her in the car as if to indicate, “Hey, they’re cool, don’t worry.” Well grey kitty was not having it and started to climb into the steering column, which is apparently where she was hiding when we were in the Walmart parking lot and driving home the night before. I felt so bad – we had to pull her out by her tail.

Eventually, she grew to love us, but always stayed a little skittish, earning her the name Merdok, from the hit 80’s show “The A Team.” Merdok was the crazy one. While I was earning my business degree, I’d sit on the bed cross legged on my bed to study and she’d curl up in the space between my knees. She’d do typical cat things, like try to catch my feet under the blankets when I was asleep or come snuggle in the middle of the night. Merdok was notorious for her head butts and could catch you off guard at any moment with a painful punch to the face with her head.

She was very affectionate and always purring. I woke up one night to her little motor running and her face about 3 inches from mine, asking to get under the covers because the roommate had forgotten to pay the oil bill and we had no heat. She was a very good girl for all 16 years of her life.

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Towards the end, you could tell she was tired. She slept a lot and starting going to the bathroom on laundry, the rug, the couch…. Her eyes were taking on that glazed, cloudy look and despite having a ferocious appetite, she had dwindled to just 4 pounds. After our last night of chicken gluttony, I slept with her on the sofa and turned most of the lights out. She laid right next to my head, as she has always done, and purred. She put her paw on my third eye as I was drifting off to sleep and my brain started to go crazy. It was a very emotional and spiritual moment to share with a cat, and I am still not sure what to make of it.

Moments before we left for the vet the next day, it started to pour. My sweet friend Ebonie agreed to take me, and she stayed with me for most of the vet visit and took pictures that captured my last moments with my old friend. My last minutes were spent telling her how much I loved her and how sorry I was that I had to let her go. I have never had to put a pet down and I wept as they put her into twilight. At that point I saw that she was already gone and I immediately regretted my decision – not because it was the wrong thing to do, but the guilt was overwhelming. My last words to this tiny little creature were “be good,” which are my parting words to the critters when I leave the house every morning for work. I felt it in my soul when the vet techs administered the dose of euthanasia, pronounced her “passed” and quietly hurried from the room.

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Grief does weird things to you – It’s exhausting, and the guilt lingered for days and weeks. Leaving the vet’s office with an empty carrier was a true trial in sadness. I cried spontaneously for a few days, overwhelmed with endless stages of grief. I know Merdok was just a cat, but she was so much more than that to me. She was my companion and confidant. She kept every secret I ever whispered in her little ears. She was unconditional and more genuine that a lot of folks I have met. What I have learned from loss is that life goes on. No matter what, the world keeps on turning and you can’t stay down for too long or life will slip on by.

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As hard as losing a pet is, I am already looking forward to my next critter. Carlos, my little monster, is in dire need of a new friend, and I like having at least two little souls in my home. Today marks the 2 year anniversary of the death of Mr. T, which was a very hard loss for me. I have also designated today as Carlos’ birthday, so I am reminded that the time for mourning has passed, and I must celebrate instead.

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Gandhi once wrote, “Where there is love, there is life.” This is why I keep plants all huddled in the window. I keep them pruned and watered and fed with sunlight, dead leaves, and eggshells. I let the cat chew on them and throw them up. I let life be life. I let life fill my home and my heart because where there is life, there is also love.

 

 

 

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Adventure, Dogs, Family, FUN!, Life, Memory Lane, New York City, Opinion, Overload, Photo Blog, Resolution, Road Trip, small joy, Social Media, South Bronx

The Hiatus

Thank the fucking stars that winter is, at last, over. For the most part, so is Spring. Although Springtime in New York City is generally a week of really great weather followed by either cold and rainy weather or hot and humid days that will never end because your office has yet to turn on the Air Conditioning. I read my last post, dated October 13, 2014, and wonder why the hell I was ever so excited for the end of summer 2014. I must also apologize, once again, for my absence. I had a few complaints from friends and their mom’s wondering if I might be dead. I am not dead, although after the past few cold, cold months, I feel a little corpse-like. With June upon us now I am basking in the hot, humid sun, getting ready to complain about different awful weather.

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I am cold just looking at this.

So, what have I been up to? October was an amazing month of visitors and travel. I stuck my feet in the Pacific Ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico (both destination wedding related). Captain Clam and I visited 5 airports in the span of 10 days that month. We were exhausted and happy from adventure and catching up with old friends and family. Plus, I got to see Northern California, and I cannot wait to get back!

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Pacific Coast Highway

November was another month of bustle, traveling to Virginia for Thanksgiving, and celebrating my 33rd year. I am getting old. Fuck! Captain Clam and I adopted a foster dog, Nena, who slowly made us realize that we don’t want a dog, or probably children… eek!

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Hey! Watch your hands buddy!

December was a little more peaceful. We celebrated at home and cooked for about 13 friends on Christmas Day. We invented Bronx Fries, which is just essentially asparagus wrapped in bacon and scorched with garlic. We spent the New Year in my old Loft building with my good Friend Paul and his girlfriend, Ebonie.

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An extremely accurate representation of Ebonie & Paul from the Guest Book.

January is a month that I have forgotten most of. All I can remember was my New Year Resolution of replacing my mascara tube, which I have managed to procrastinate for 5 1/2 months. February is the worst month of them all, and this winter really gave it to us. If the temperature was above 20 degrees, I experience some sort of relief, like maybe I didn’t need to bundle up so much. But then the wind would blow and I’d immediately regret not wearing a butt scarf (essentially just a scarf that is tied around the butt).

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The First Day of Spring 2015, New York City.

At some point, we were able to find a home for a little kitten that our neighbor found. She had been smashed up a bit and needed some serious snuggling. Our friend Josh, who is the biggest softy ever, came by in the middle of the night, serenaded her with music on a broken guitar, and fell in love. He took her home that night and named her Prudence.

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Contrary to popular belief, Captain Clam and I are NOT an animal rescue!

During the winter, I became bored and switched my instagram name a zillion times. I settled on CommutersOnTheGreenLine, and have dedicated the majority of my posts to stalking strangers on the 4, 5, and 6 trains. Follow Me!

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February 19, 2015

In early March, I found myself shopping for a dress for an old friend’s funeral. That sucked more than I ever thought anything ever could possibly suck. The joy of March was driving down to MD to drop off the foster dog to her new owner, Rich. We (and by “we” I mean “the kitties”) finally regained control over the apartment. Hooray! We were also blessed with a trip to Wisconsin to visit the Captain’s Family Farm and B&B for his dad’s 70th Birthday. If you are ever in Wisconsin, in the little town of La Farge, please stop in and visit Trillium Cottage B&B. It is one of the most magical places I have ever been to and I can’t wait to get back there (they have miniature donkeys!).

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See? Magic!

May proved to be the busiest month yet, with almost every weekend spent out of town. Captain Clam and I went to Long Island for Mother’s Day and a spectacular family reunion where both of my sisters and their kids (and husbands) were gathered in one place, talking loudly with intense accents. At one point my dad pulled us aside and told us that my mom hasn’t looked this happy in a long time. I looked over to see her playing monkey in the middle with two of my nephews. She was giggling in her usual tickled fashion and was completely kicking their little butts at the game. She was genuinely, unabashedly happy.

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That is one Happy Momma!

The following weekend, one of my Best Pals since forever got married in Baltimore, so we road tripped out there and Airbnb’d it 2 blocks from where the Baltimore riots had taken place a few weeks earlier (Captain Clam and I are gluttons for adventure). Of course I cried at the wedding because I am a wimp, but Elyse BFF was certainly the prettiest bride since Cleopatra married Mark Anthony (or since J-Lo Married Marc Anthony…).

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Meet the Meyers!

I would also like to take this time to brag about what a hunk my Clam is in a suit!

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The cutest clam in town!

Memorial Day Weekend was spent in the woods camping at Clarence Fahnestock State Park, as an early Birthday Gift to the Clam. He’ll be 32 in a few weeks! The last weekend was spent prepping for a Jumble Sale that we have been organizing with some friends in our Community, presented by the South Bronx Yard Exchange and hosted by the Mott Haven Bar. The Sale coincides with the Mott Haven’s killer Brunch, so feel free to come by for the sale (June 6 & 7) and stay for some Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary Specials!

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Subliminal Message.

So, what’s coming up for these summer months? Well, June is filling up with the Jumble Sale, Shakespeare in the Park, Groupons for a Yankees Game, Clam’s Birthday, an illegal rooftop garden, and a bunch of other blog posts that I have had in the works for a very long time. As promised, Like a Truck Driver is set to be published within the next week or so, and I am working on another gem The Noise Hole to keep you entertained while you are supposed to be doing paper work or checking emails at your boring job. Early July boasts an epic camping trip in New Hampshire and Acadia Nation Park in Maine, so that should keep my brain from exploding for a little bit longer. Stay tuned!

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Change, Compromise, FTSF, Humor, Memory Lane, Opinion, Project, Rules To Live By, Sarcasm, Save The World

Never Gonna Happen

I compromise all the time. Like, I’ll take a pair of dish pan hands if Captain Clam does the Kitty Litter, or I’ll be the designated driver if Captain Clam does the Kitty Litter, or I’ll sort the recycle/dump the garbage/mop/sweep/dust if Captain Clam does the Kitty Litter…  I would basically compromise anything to get out of shoveling cat poop, except for the following…

I won’t drink and drive. Ever. I won’t even sniff a cocktail if I know I am getting behind the wheel. I don’t believe in it and think if you do drink and drive, you are a dumb asshole.

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This graphic is too ridiculous not to use.

Nothing will never, ever compromise my stance on Cheese. If it were human, I’d marry it. I eat cheese just about everyday. It makes me happy!  The same goes for Pickles and Hot Sauce.

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32 oz. of heaven. I own this bottle.

I will never stop using curse words. I can’t compromise what comes naturally to me. I do, however, do my best not to curse around children and old ladies, but every once in a while a “fuck” slips out. Shit happens.

I don’t compromise on zombies. If you are a zombie, I will remove your head.

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If I can’t see the bottom, chances are I will not be swimming. I don’t compromise on murky water. If something is touching my leg, then I need to know what it is. Zero Compromise. Zero. Two things happened to me when I was younger that changed my outlook on swimming. One of them was my dad.

We would go to the Jersey Shore every summer. I was fearless, chasing waves on my boogie board, digging in the sand where the water turned to foam, and swimming out past the point where I could stand up. There was one cloudy day when the waves were just too much for me to handle. Well, my dad thought otherwise and dragged me out there with a boogie board. At first I screamed and cried, and then gave in. I thought after one run I could escape back to the beach blanket. As I rode a huge wave in, my board slipped out from under me and dug nose first into the sand. I then plowed into the rear end of it, knocking the wind out of my little body. My day was ruined.

About a year after the bogie board incident, I was swimming in the calmer waters of the Peconic Bay and a crab bit me. After that, it’s been an aquatic life of water shoes, dips up to my knees, tropical beaches where the water is clear, or strictly swimming pools. I do sometimes venture out above my head, but then seaweed touches me and I am headed to shore. It boggles my brain to think that I used to dive head first into the Peconic River  without second thought to the turtles and leeches and other weird grimy stuff that might get in my swimsuit. Now those memories fill me with terror.

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You never know what’s lurking.

I will never EVER catch any food items in my mouth. If you throw a cheesy puff at my face, I am going to duck and get very serious rather quickly, preaching on the dangers of catching food in your mouth. I will most likely tell you this story: I was in Middles School and realizing quickly that I was finally growing into my awkward teenage body. My coordination was on point and I never really got into the whole “pog” thing. I thought it would be awesome to throw some popcorn in the air and catch it in my mouth. I was pretty cool until about the third piece of popcorn. It went right into my lung. I choked and choked until I coughed out a soggy, embarrassed piece of popcorn. I can’t even be in the presence of food catchers. They make me nervous. I can’t trust them.

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I couldn’t even make it through this episode of “The Office.”

I don’t compromise on beer. If it’s there I will drink it, unless it’s dark. Guinness is like steak and eggs – heavy and unnecessary (have you ever thrown up steak and eggs? No thanks).

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WHY?

Lastly, I can never compromise the Golden Rule. I can’t understand how lots of people go through life being complete assholes to everyone. Jerks, Racists, Meanies, Bullies, Punks, Narcissists, Know-it-alls, Blockheads, Pricks, Shits, Schmucks, and all encompassing Doo-Doo Faces baffle me in their behaviors (pranksters are okay). I find general goodwill  to be effortless. It’s an effort to be an asshole. If you are going out of your way to do the wrong thing, you are a DICK. Boom. No compromise.

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Wil Wheaton says so.

Things that I will never compromise on might seems silly to most, but deal with life and death and complete panic (come on, seaweed touching my legs, no thanks!). Of course the cheese thing is just common sense, as is the golden rule. Compromise is important, but not when it comes to personal conviction, morale, or the safety of others…. or pickles. Pickles are good.

 

 

 

 

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Adventure, Change, Journal, Memory Lane, New York City, poetry, South Bronx, This is my Soul, We're Moving

Memory Lane Journals

I always rethink the gratuitous “I’m sorry,” epsecially when I am writing, since it makes me look guilty of something. I am sorry for too many things these days that are not anything I have control of. My last two blog posts were either heavy or sentimental, and I really didn’t know how to follow with such deep, personal expression until I saw a dead pigeon outside of a restauarnt in the South Bronx last week. I saw it and thought it was a dirty hunk of ice/snow until a customer came in and was like, “hey, you know there’s dead pigeon out there.” I learned that it was s sick or super cold bird (since the high had been 18 degrees in NYC ) and he curled up and died alone. My heart broke a little (ok, a lot). I don’t ever want to be that pigeon.

Anyway. I am guilty since I haven’t posted as often as I’d like. I am only about 6,000 words into the 100,000 word goal for the year. Despite being in a weird winter funk,  I’ve been busy. You might even wonder why I was in the South Bronx…. Captain Clam and I were applying for and depositing on a little slice of heaven to rent until we can’t afford it anymore. That’s right, WE ARE MOVING! I can’t even believe how exciting that is. I didn’t want to announce it until we had signed the lease, but I am spreading confidence into the universe today and am pretty much already moved into the new place (in my mind at least).

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We came home after the apartment viewing (and some happy hour wine and beer and oysters) and started organizing and throwing things out. Every time I move, it is THE BIGGEST walk down memory lane that I could ever wish for. I have been coming across some great memories these past few days. At my 30th birthday party, I had a card making station. These are cards that were made that would put Hallmark to shame. I even have a card from the Legendary DJ Jazzy Joyce, and I don’t even remember her being there! But… she was. I have come across so many things that remind me that I was super cool at one point. I even found my watch, which was missing for a week or so.

Since we are moving to the same neighborhood I used to live in, I am pretty sure I will still be “cool,” but in a 32 yr old kind of way. I am feeling so bittersweet about going back, but I really HATE Brooklyn. It’s just not for me. It’s great place, but I really don’t belong here. I lived in The Bronx for 7 years and never felt like I was out of place. I go back there to this day and am filled with disgusting amounts of energy ( and copious amounts of beer) and am surrounded by such comfortable friends, both new and old. There is no place (for the time being) that I would rather live. Plus, a two bedroom is so much more appealing than the sardine can studio Captain Clam and I are currently sharing with our animal roommates.

ANYWAY… I came across my journals from long, long ago ( like, 4 years +), and have been reading them. All secrets out, I have always wanted to be writer. This blog might be the closest I ever get… But I was reading this stuff from years ago, and was shocked at what I was saying. Of course, I had a few beers and was cleaning and thought that all of my words were complete poetry (and some of it is  poetry)… I thought I’d share with you.

Some of it’s a little “debbie-downer,” but it is definitely a reflection of what I was going through during those years. I was sick and sad, stuck in a relationship that was never going to go anywhere. I was almost finished with school and had no idea what I was going to do with myself (as if that is ever gonna happen!).

So here goes. Stephanie Janecek (copy written, so don’t copy me) is open to the public: vulnerable and naked (in a metaphorical sense, of course, also, I usually have no pants on when I am writing these blogs).

2007-ish

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The drop of a hat

The drop if a dime

You held the rhythm

I held the rhyme

How sweet life was

Back in time

When music was simple

And love was sublime

2008

Awake

Awake.

All night.

How clever of the sun

To creep through the window

So slowly

At such an ungodly hour.

My eyes hardly blink

And I find

Allah in my rolodex,

Buddha in my reflection,

And Jesus in my rearview.

They show up

Uninvited.

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The music played

And I fell in love with the night

So sexy, with arms embracing

My cold shoulders.

I flirted relentlessly

Hoping the wine

And my smile

Would  steal the show.

The harmony persisted

And my face

Became a memory

Lost in a Cabernet Cabaret.

Summer 2008

Anguished children

neighbored by the beaten

raped

murdered,

The river has dried

And driven

Nature to be a fantom memory

Along with humanity

Compassion,

Equality.

Darwin’s theory

Takes an economical twist

Excluding the Rich,

Spoiled…

Greedy.

Victory does not come to those who deserve it,

But comes to those

Who pay for it.

2009 – ish

Haiku 1

Golden sunshine sky

Lazy afternoon cocktail

Careless summer ease

Haiku 3

Optimism Chart

Northernly navigation

Exclamation points!

February 2010

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The talking machine is on again.

Mundane things have become so important.

I don’t leave my house,

And yet complain about the weather.

March 2010-ish

Haiku: Cat

Golden eyes open

Greets the day with purr and mew

Then goes back to sleep.

April 2010

Haiku: Music

Save my soul old friend

Count the days until the end

You…. stuck in my head.

I’ll save some of these little gems (and longer entries from my train adventures) and share on a rainy Saturday after the move. For now, my old notebooks are headed for a cardboard box labeled “Books.”

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