World’s Dramatic-ist Day

Careful readers will note that yesterday I had a mammogram. Or, really, slovenly readers will too, seeing as I just said it yesterday, there, genius.

I tried a new place this year because allegedly–according to their ads–they have same-day mammogram results, but of course only after I’d transferred my files, my D Files, did I learn they do NOT give same-day results in Greensboro.

Greensboro. The city that makes you wait. For results.

But it was really close to work, and very sunny and pretty in there, and once I got called in, each locker where you remove all waist-up clothes was named after a famous woman. I chose the Cher locker.

Two women were in gowns, waiting, as well. “I’m Cher! Who’re you all?”

“I’m Marilyn Monroe,” said a 90-year-old woman, who is probably younger than Marilyn Monroe would be now.

“I’m Elizabeth Taylor,” said another woman, not remotely draped in diamonds. Perhaps she was wearing her White Diamonds. By Coty.

Marilyn, Liz and I waited to be called while I tossed back my hair and showed my ass to servicemen.

The mammogram itself went without incident; I told the person performing it how anxious I am about the waiting thing, and she was very nice. Of course I searched her face for signs of pity when she took the photos.

“She was so young. -ish.”

On the way back to work, I heard from Ned. Goddammit.

He was crying so hard, I could barely understand him. “A vet is coming tonight to discuss putting [NedKitty] down. I found a place that will do it at home.”

I knew this day was coming, and I had plenty, plenty, of salty retorts about chippies and why doesn’t he call a chippie instead of me and also salty chips sound delicious right now. But once I was faced with the reality that NedKitty is finally giving up the fight, I was without salt. “If today’s the day, I’ll come over there,” I said.

I’m the only other person NedKitty loves. She pretty much looks grumpily out at everything in this world, a position in life I can get behind.

I was at work maybe an hour when my phone rang. See. This time between mammogram and letter/email saying all’s clear is my very worst time. The phone rings, I jump. Because the phone call is never good.

“This is Breast Buy calling, and we gave your test to the doctor right away because you’d said you were anxious, and he does see something and wants you to come back in.”

God

DAMMIT.

“Today,” I said. “Please get me in today. I’ll lose every moment of all my shit if I have to wait.” So they did, which is really nice, and all I had to do was wait TWO DAMN HOURS to go back and get an ultrasound.

I called Ned, who of course I’d already regaled the “I had a mammogram today” story to, because he knows how I get, and he knew I was trying out The New Place and so on. “Call me when you get the answer. I guess that’s one way to get your results today,” said Ned.

Then? I’m not fucking kidding you, everyone in the WORLD needed to speak with me. I had get-this-done-now work things pop up, and could people not DO THAT? You never know when someone is two hours from a horrifying test.

Then, I swear to you, I heard from a person I dated in Virginia, who’d had a job interview near here, and he wrote to tell me he didn’t get the job. I had to feign interest in anyone’s life but my own, which could be the title of my next book.

“Next” book.

Plus also too, I heard from this place I freelance for, with a very detailed message needing to know very detailed info from me RIGHT NOW, and finally? Finally? I got a call from my gym–yes, I have a gym. I know, right? We’d had a dispute, because my membership was up. And even though I called THREE TIMES, offered to COME OVER THERE, to make sure when it officially expired that they’d stop charging me? And they’d said:

“Oh, no, we’re not charging you after October, ma’am. We mean it.” Finally, I got them to email me a document saying my last automatic withdrawal would be in October, and

GUESS WHAT HAPPENED IN NOVEMBER?

So they picked then, that horrifying two-hour window, to get in touch to tell me I was right and they were refunding my money and in my head I’m all HOOO CARE EVERYONE LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE I’M TRYING TO PANIC OH MY GOD.

Finally I drove back to the place, and when I got back up to the lobby,

there was Ned. He was reading a book in that sunny waiting room, which was, in fact, less sunny cause it had been morning and now it was panicky afternoon.

“Ned,” said, finally tearing up.

We sat there silently for a minute, Ned holding my cold clammy hand.

“What are you reading?”

“Oh, it’s nothing.”

“For fucks’s sake tell me about your book or I will beat you with it.” So he did.

It’s a book about Buddhism written by a scientist, which is perfect for Ned because he’s incapable of being remotely spiritual, but science? You throw science at him, and he’s down with that.

Happens to be a link to Amazon. I know! June shills, even in panic.

“So far, it’s saying that we’re biologically wired to seek pleasure,” said Ned, who never does anything but seek pleasure. And eat salads. Which seems contradictory, but there you go. “And they’ve found that it’s the anticipation of pleasure that’s usually better than the pleasure itself. I don’t know what happens next. I just hope they tell us how to stop doing that,” said Ned, and oh, so many salty things unsaid. The sequel to my third book.

“Mrs. Gardeeens?”

I wish, when I came up with a fake blog name 11 years ago and why the fuck am I still blogging, what’s WRONG with me, that I’d come up with a name you could also mispronounce, so you’d feel my pain. My name, my real name, is forever being mispronounced, and if you know my real name, it does not end in “field.” No, go look at it again. NOT FIELD.

It’s not Jerry Seinfield. It’s not the Zigfield Follies. It’s not Marty Fieldman.

NOT ALL NAMES ARE PRONOUNCED “FIELD,” GODDAMMIT.

“Good luck, sweetheart,” said Ned, and is it possible to want to feel grateful to someone while still wanting to punch them clean in the face? Is there a word for that? I mean other than “dysfunctional.”

I got back to the lockers, and this time I was Princess Diana, which I was hoping was a good sign. I didn’t chat up the other waiters this time, as we were in the diagnostic area, not the hey, it’s our everyday mammogram hoooo care area.

IMG_2289.jpgI did, however, have the wherewithal to snap this selfie, in case I lived till today to tell you this tale. I call this Portrait of Petrified. I was hair-i-fied.

Not that that was such a clever name, but do you know what annoys me? Artists who title their work Self Portrait. Wow. Thanks for the effort, there, Snappy.

While I was begowned, waiting, I checked my phone.

“Did you Facebook unfriend me?” my stupid-ass friend Mark wanted to know. He has no idea how close he came to making me stomp my phone to death. I wrote him back, explaining that I’d disabled my Facebook for now, and then he wanted to chat, and that is why I paid a hit man to snap the face right off my now-faceless friend Mark.

I was tense. Yesterday was tense. (Entire contents of my fourth book, actually just an index card, written by a man, because I wore myself out with words.)

Finally, they brought me into a room with an ultrasound, and then the ultrasounder said, “I’ll show this to the doctor and be right back.”

IMG_2290.jpgHere was my view, while I waited for the woman or, worse, the doctor, to walk in. I did not check my phone, because I could only imagine the inanity awaiting me on that thing. Instead, I just listened to my heart beating in my ears.

The door opened.

“I bring you nothing but good news,” she said.

Oh, Jesus Christ and all the pleasure-seeking Buddhas.

Seriously, she spoke for 10 seconds before I even caught up with the “good news” part. I was so determined to steel myself against the bad news that good news wasn’t even an option.

In summation, I have a cyst. And we all need to remove our Dust Mite Allergy Awareness pins and slap on a MAMMOGRAMS FUCKING SUCK BUT IT’S A CYST  pins.

I stayed a little late at work to make up for the work I missed while I lay dying over at the Hootie and the Blowfish concert. Then I drove right over to Ned’s, where a pink-haired vet was assessing NedKitty.

“Well, her eyes are still bright, and she trotted down the stairs to see me,” said the vet. “Truthfully, I thought she’d be worse.”

Ned had on the coffee table the litany of pills and powders and ointments he uses each day to keep that cat alive. The vet laid out a plan to keep NedKitty comfortable, and a big part of that plan is that Ned is to no longer force as many pills down her cat neck, and she doesn’t have to have that goddamn IV three times a week. The point is for her to feel happy and not sick till she’s ready to go.

Of course, we all know my feelings on the topic. I’d have offed that cat back in February. But it’s not my cat, so I kept quiet, and meandered into the kitchen, where NedKitty was crouched, hoping for a treat.

I gave her about 472 treats. And girlfriend scarfed them. So.

6a00e54f9367fb883401b8d08e6b51970c-600wiI did not take pictures of her old, bony self last night. She wouldn’t want you all to see her this way. Let’s remember her as the fluffy white bitch she usually was–which incidentally is the title of my biography, to be handed out at my funeral. Which, according to the fine folks who saw way too much of m’boobs yesterday, isn’t going to be any time soon.

6a00e54f9367fb883401b7c74b8f14970b.jpgWhile Doctor Pink Hair and my ex-boyfriend discussed NedKitty’s exit plan, I picked up her old bones and held her. She won’t let anyone, not even Ned, pick her up and hold her, but she lets me. I kissed her smelly old head and stroked her cheeks.

She’s got a few weeks left, and they will be comfortable weeks. She still wears bags on her head and insists the tap be turned on so she can stick her head under the water like a lunatic. And when it’s finally time, I will be there with her, the one of two people she likes. Everyone else can fuck off. Which will be the engraving on my tombstone, where I will be buried with the ashes of my 79 dead pets.

“I’m so glad you’re okay,” Ned wept, as the vet left. “Can I take you to dinner?”

“No, Ned,” I said. “All I want to do is get into my owl pajamas, and eat toast, and watch TV.” Truthfully, I was fekking exhausted. I was drained. I was spent.

I hadn’t been home all day, which for me is rare. I almost 100% of the time come home at lunch, even though Edsel almost never pees at lunch, Edsel is a camel, or…some kind of other animal that never has to pee. Do camels pee? I have no idea. I mean, of course they pee, but…

Oh hooo care. The point is, it had been 11 hours that I’d been gone, and I trudged in like Ashley after the war, and hey, June, trot that example out for a change, why don’t you. I kissed Edsel, and fed everyone, except…

Where the fuck was Steely Dan? “STEEEEEEEEEEELY DAN!” I called out the front door. Then the back door. Then back to the front door.

Oh, great. This was gonna be God’s deal. I get to be okay, but I have to lose Steely Dan.

I thought of all the possibilities. He’d been run over. A family finally decided this robust, shiny cat was a “stray” and dragged him inside and locked the door. (Dear Family: Good luck with that. Soon he’ll be outside looking in the window at you, and you’ll have no idea how.) A dog ate him. He left me.

“STEEEEEEEELY DAN!” I called again.

IMG_2294.jpg
That dog bed isn’t even Edsel’s anymore.

THIRTEEN HOURS that cat was gone, before I heard the telltale THUMP that he’d just left the roof and was back on the deck, waiting to come in. For all I know, he was on the roof for all 13 hours.

I may have overreacted to his return. I may have swooped him up, felt his robust, youthful cat self, kissed his cold ears, and hugged him hard and cried like an idiot.

IMG_0414.JPG
wat da fuk

Dear Steely Dan: I am sorry I took all the emotions of the day out on your bastard self. But mom has a cyst, and she was never so glad to have a cyst in the history of cysts.

Love,

Jooon

63 thoughts on “World’s Dramatic-ist Day

  1. I’m glad you are OK. I loved this post. The way you can put all your dramatic feelings into words amazes me. I think everyone feels these things but not everyone can articulate them. I’m also glad NedKitty is still with us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you being there for her when the time comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! As I read, I recognized feeling all of those things but heaven help me I couldn’t write them like this. So glad you are OK June- and that the wait is over.

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  2. I’m so glad things worked out in your rollercoaster day, just, wow!

    And congratulations on your low sodium approach to the NedKitty situation; there’s a lot of people who would be whipping out those notecards to recite their pearls of zing…me included.

    Here’s hoping your day today is better than Matt Lauer’s. Lauers’? This is my I usually don’t comment, punctuation issues!!

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  3. I’m glad you are ok, but really, I got no further than Breast Buy and I am SO stealing that.

    I will keep my thoughts about NedKitty to myself, you’re welcome.

    Matt Lauer: I called it. He’s such a turd.

    Breast Buy. Am dead.

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    1. It’s like a daily list of who’s who. Or who’s tried to do what to everyone. I hope the message is coming through loud and clear.

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  4. Well, you had a big day out on the town. STRESSY!! Luckily you had Cher and Princess Diana on your side. Those gals would never do you wrong.

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  5. Thank goodness it’s just a cyst. Welcome to the club. I just went thru my own horror show about 2 weeks ago, same thing. Only I had to wait a week before they had a time slot for my ultrasound so I basically walked around for a week in a fog. Don’t remember much from that week, so next time (oh yes there will be a next time since I’m a cysty person now too) I might try your tactic, or I might just go ahead and schedule an ultrasound back to back with my screening just to shorten the wait.

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  6. “For fucks’s sake tell me about your book or I will beat you with it.”

    I totally can hear you saying this. 🙂

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  7. Glad you’re OK Joob. You poor thing, you look truly terrified in that selfie.
    BUT – bright side of life: Stressful day = great post. So thanks for that.
    I’m sorry about NedKitty, and am very impressed by your ability to compartmentalize and be there for someone in need. Also, I love that his cat loves you best. Clearly the smart one in that house.

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  8. I’m glad your horrendous day ended well.
    I think pets are our neutral zone.
    We’ll lay down arms to do anything we can for them.
    Also glad you were there for NedKitty.

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  9. You’re such a lovely, compassionate person June. Wishing the best for Ned and his kitty. And I’m glad you got through the “it’s a cyst” experience.

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  10. So glad that your test results were negative. I am happy to hear that you will be with NedKitty at the end. You have such a big heart when it comes to the animals! I hope the rest of your week is a lot less stressful than Tuesday was!

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  11. That’s exactly what happened with me last year and maybe they will mark your file too so you won’t have to keep going back. Stupid cysteses.

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  12. Let’s hear it for compassion! At the mammogram place where they treated you right, and didn’t make you wait. No woman should have to wait days or weeks after getting “the call back”. And kudos to you, lovely June, for showing enormous amounts of compassion towards Ned and Ned/Kitty.

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  13. I’m glad Ned was there for you and glad you were there for him and NedKitty. And SO GLAD everything is good for you health-wise. I go to get squeezed tomorrow and am thinking about it approximately every two seconds.

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  14. Jesus Christ, I need a drink after that rollercoaster of emotions! And it’s only 7:30am!

    I feel sorry for Ned because he will be utterly gutted when NedKitty leaves the building and he will not know how to deal with it. But as long as NedKitty continues to strut around with a bag on her head, she’s doing good.

    Your book titles. Pullet Surprise Awards right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Holy cow, my heart is pounding with all the stress.

    I’m so glad your return visit was a negative report. I’ve been through that with a cyst and it is so stressful. I agree, no woman should have to wait for mammogram results or call back results. I’m sure men must make the SOP on how women are notified and obviously have no idea how stressful it is for us.

    You are doing the right thing about NedKitty. The word is grateful, not dysfunction, in this situation.

    Enjoy your less stressful day.

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  16. While reading your post today I have giggled, chortled, laughed out loud, frowned, gasped, shaken my head, and teared up. I am worn out. Ima go back to back to bed now.

    I’m really happy for your cyst.

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  17. The tension I felt in this post about did me in. What an awful, terrible, no good, crappy day you had. I’m very happy that all ended relatively well. My best wishes for Ned and NedKitty.

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  18. I can’t believe no one else congratulated you on your strength in telling Ned that you didn’t want to go out to dinner. Major milestone! Even in the midst of your own terrifying drama, you were compassionate and showed empathy for Ned. I applaud you, my not-blog friend. Even though I hate what Ned did to you, some people are absolutely incapable of having an honest relationship. You, on the other hand, bare your soul and provide loving support. You are one-of-a-kind person!

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  19. Dear June , you surely know how to drag a person through all the emotions one has and back again. Riveting post.
    Cysters in boobdom and multiple pet ownerships,
    Beth

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  20. Wow! It doesn’t even seem possible this all happened in one day! Crazy! I hope today is a much easier day. So glad you got great news on the mammogram front! Yay!

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  21. One for the books, Ms. Gardens, one for the books. Joob and her boob day just now made it’s way into top five favorite posts ever and I’ve been reading a long time now. Like other commenters, I too need a nap after having a drink after reading about your rollercoaster day. Good lord, that is good writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great hoot news, Coot. What an emotional day! Hope you had a restful night’s sleep as I imagine you were drained. And I’ll second, third, fourth or fifth (or whatever the count is now) your terrific gift of humorous writing. You certainly know how to tell a story. That’s why your tens of readers return day after day waiting for your next post or whatever you call it now on your not-blog.

    Glad Cher and Princess Diana were there when you needed them.

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  23. That’s so funny… my funeral program will also be titled Fluffy White Bitch. I’m glad that after the anxiety ridden waiting and waiting your results were good.

    As for NedKitty and Ned… I (and I think I speak for most readers) wish you happiness. If being with Ned and NedKitty brings you some measure of comfort, closure, whatever, then do it. It’s none of our business nor should it be. As those kids say, “Do you June. Do you.”

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  24. What a horrible, no good, very bad day, Coot. Glad it is a cyst and not an alien waiting to pop out a third boob. So sad about Ned Kitty and in your defense you did agree to be there for Ned Kitty when it was time, so I totally get it.

    I remember the day the radiologist called me and said they needed to see me again. I went in and they showed me this blip on my mammorgram and said you need to go see a surgeon. Now I had gone through a lump-ectomy in my early 30’s this is 10 years later. This was not good news. I went to said surgeon who wanted to cut both my boobs off, for safety sake. I was beside myself. I was in total panic. My Kahuna not wanting to loose his playthings called another surgeon who said definitly best thing to do is to take them both. Something inside me said NOPE, this is not cancer this is nothing to panic over. So I held my chin up and told them all to go fuck themselves. I did a lot of research and found a specialist, a breast specialist. I went to her and she said “did they do an MRI? Did they do an ultra sound? Well did they?” Nope they did not. She did. Guess what that tumor was? It was a twisted blood vessel from where they had done my lumpectomy. They were going to do a double radical masectomy over a twisted blood vessel! So all that to say. Don’t take the first opinion or the second or even the third. Go with the most thorough.

    Now take a deep breath and keep on giving them hell Joob!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. What a nerve-wracking day. Man.

    I’m so glad you’re okay, my dear friend.

    I have to get a mammogram soon and am similarly filled with dread.

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  26. Glad it was a(nother) false alarm. I’ve had that too. I think I had to wait a week or two in between. Ridiculous.
    Sad to hear about NedKitty, but glad she will be kept comfortable for her last few weeks. Paper bag on head + head under faucet = still happy. That makes me happy. And I think it’s great that you will fulfill the promise you made to be there with Ned and NedKitty.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I am clearing off a bookshelf to make space for all your soon to be published and eloquently titled tomes. That was a helluva rollercoaster day. what did your horoscope say for yesterday? I’m glad you got good news and that you and Ned can be each others’ mensch when needed.

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  28. Yay for just a cyst!

    I was physically sick to my stomach and holding my breath reading this, because I know exactly how you felt, having been through it myself. I’m so glad that they got you your results quickly and in the end, it was good news.

    Of course, then I let out my breath in a huge out loud laugh upon reading “wat da fuk”!

    Oh NedKitty. As long as she was still up and moving, wanting to eat, paperbagging her head and drinking out of the faucet, I wouldn’t put her down either. She doesn’t sound like she’s suffering even though she’s Boney Maroney, because she wouldn’t be bright eyed and snorfing up snacks. Let’s just hope she goes happily to sleep one night soon, and goes off to kitty heaven on her own so Ned doesn’t have to make the decision.

    And there are many times when I adore my ex, whilst still wanting to smack him upside the head, so I think that’s pretty normal. I still like him, even though I frequently want to punch his stupid face. You and Ned are the most loyal and devoted friends for each other – you just aren’t good romantic partners.

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  29. NedKitty, God bless her. I have 2 very old kitties who are getting quite thin and bony themselves and I prefer to look at pictures of them when they were plump, muscular and healthy. So I really do understand about no new photos of her.

    I am so thankful that your news was only a cyst and you can go on about your week. Although I know that the stress of yesterday was enough for a month.

    Really good post there, Coot!

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  30. I was reading this while in the doc office waiting for him to look at a suspicious mole. I’ve been where you are and lived to tell the tale. (I had bc.) They looked at my mole and said it wasn’t anything, but then they saw a different one and took it off to biopsy. So, now I’m in the waiting game again! I’ve been here before and here I am again. It never gets easier!

    Anyway, I am so glad it was only a cyst! Hopefully mine will be nothing too and we can go on with our lives until the next medical test comes along!

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  31. Thank goodness for Steely Dan, steeling himself to comfort you. What a long-ass day. And what stress? My heart is still beating a bit too fast after just reading about it.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  32. 1. I am so glad you are ok! I hate having to wait, I’m glad they could get you right back in there instead of, you know, after the new year.
    2. ” I’d have offed that cat back in February.” I am reading this at work and had to stifle a snort-laugh which wasn’t very successful and now everyone thinks I have some sort of sinus event happening.
    3. All of your book titles / epitaphs are perfect. Start a list.

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  33. My phone died in the middle of my comment yesterday. I am blown away at your ability to write so wittily and so well in the face of a level of stress that would render many numb and dumb. You are amazing. I am glad things worked out as they did. Horray for toast, owl pjs and Steely Dan taking one for the team.

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  34. The reason you still have a blog is because you write sentences like this: “Instead, I just listened to my heart beating in my ears.” And then someone who lives all the way across the country who you don’t know can read that sentence and say to herself “what a perfectly profound yet simple and clear string of words I’m so glad I get to read so many strings of perfectly profound yet simple and clear strings of words every now and again.” Not to mention HIGH-LAIR-EE-US. p.s. Bless NedKitty and the 2 people she loves.

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  35. Good Lord woman, what a DAY. So happy you are ok. Also glad you were there and will be there for Ned Kitty/Ned. SJP would approve.

    Like

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