I Spilled My Corn Flakes: Poem

The author with Emmy during the only summer of Emmy's life.
The author with Emmy during the only summer of Emmy's life. | Source

(note, this poem is formatted differently on hubpages than it is in the book is appears in)

Do you like this poem?

Then check out my poetry book,Digging to China, released by Sweatshoppe Publications. This poem is in it, along with fifty others. Signed copies are available throughSweatshoppe Publications. It's also available on Barnes and Noble andAmazon.com.

I SPILLED MY CORN FLAKES


By

Justin W. Price



It’s October and I’m

getting ready for school with my brother.

I’m in footie pajamas

eating corn flakes with extra sugar.

My dad is outside and he opens

the door in a panic and leans

inside.

From the kitchen I can only see

his face, which looks

dour and stricken, and his hand

on the doorknob.

“You’d better come and say

goodbye to Emmy,” he says.

“She just got hit

by a car,”

he says.

Emmy is a mutt, some kind of ugly Aussie mix

and is still a puppy. She has

mustard yellow spots and dark black fur. We

got her outside the supermarket one day for my dad

for Father’s Day. She

travelled with us that summer,

riding on my lap from Portland to California

and back.

Every morning Emmy bounds

to the bus stop and greets

the waiting kids. (We

don’t take the bus. Our parents drive us to school.)

She’s visiting the bus stop when a woman—

Cold

Heartless

Cruel—

Crashes her car into Emmy sending

her flying. “Who’s dog is that?”

She says. “Find the owners,” She says

to horrified watching children as she

speeds off.

“No!” I push my

bowl of cornflakes sending them off the table

and onto the floor.

“No, you’re joking!”

I say.

I watch as the thick white liquid—

the ceramic shards

the orange flakes—

snake

across the floor and I know

he’s not.





View the original format, here.


all rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price October 2011. Copyright renewed by Justin W. Price and Sweatshoppe Publications Feb. 2013.


Thanks for Reading.

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION, DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, THE WHISTLING FIRE, SEE SPOT RUN ANDTHE BELLWETHER REVIEW.

HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOSTWRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.



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Comments 84 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Yes. Are u confused because it doesn't rhyme, do you not understand or do you not like it? Can't please everybody...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for your comment, Sam. it's always tough lose our furry loved ones and my thoughts and prayers to your friends. Back in January, my wife and I lost our fourteen year old Chow mix. It was super tough, but the love is worth it. It's the price we pay to love them and have them love us.


Doc 3 years ago

This is poetry?


sam209 profile image

sam209 3 years ago

I just got news that my friend's dog Lucky is dying. He's 11, which is 84 in dog years. I'm an animal lover as well. It always saddens me to hear about the loss of an animal! Thanks for sharing your memories!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thank u dancing water. It's sad indeed to lose animals to man made machines.


Dancing Water profile image

Dancing Water 4 years ago

Heartbreaking poem__and great images! I love animals, and feel so sad when the metal monsters we call cars and heedless drivers hurt them.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Katrine. I'm glad you were able to relate to this. I'm glad you enjoyed reading!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much Audrey. I appreciate the empathy


KatrineDalMonte 4 years ago

You've managed to put the story into a poem which is so touching. On a subject many of us will relate to as we gather echoing memories from our childhood. Voted up and beautiful.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I want to cry for Emmy--- and for you


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thanka so much, Mary. I appreciate your read. I'm an animal lover and I don't have kids. My animals are my babies. Losing them is hard! Thanks for reading and commenting


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

sparkle, thanks for sharing your story. I almost ran a dog over the other day and almost hitting it was quite traumatic. YOu7 were kind to give out your info. I was eight years old when this happened so it's possible that I may have had a wrong view of this lady, but, since I was writing this piece from that perspective, I left that detail in. Thank you so much for this comment!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I promised I would read more of your work, and I'm glad I chose this one. You see, my little brain understands this type of narrative poem. As an animal lover, whose heart has been broken by the death of a beloved pet, I understand how you must have felt when Emmy was killed. I will continue to follow your work and try to learn from you. Goodnight.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

I have such a deep love for animals, I cannot even describe. I ran over a dog once...black one, he darted in front of my car and I still remember the impact. He had a broken leg, and took off on his three legs. His little boy was in the yard and just screamed and sobbed and chased his pet, trying to catch him. I pulled over immediately. Parents not home, but the next door neighbor came out, told me he would help the boy and the dog. I was EXTREMELY heartbroken. I gave the neighbor my name and phone number, told him to PLEASE give it to the dog's owner. The father of the little boy called me that night. He was so full of gratitude that I took the time to stop and give out my name and number. He said the dog was at the vet and was not going to make it. He then put the little boy on the phone and he talked to me. I still tear up just thinking about it.

That being said I cannot imagine the cruelty of that woman. You described her perfectly. You brought out all my emotions, and I offer sincere condolences for your loss. Years pass, but it never goes away, does it? We have four cats we adore and love with our heart and soul. There's just something about the love and loyalty of an animal. Blessings, Sparklea


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Rasta. i will check it out.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 4 years ago from Jamaica

Respect PDX. I read your poem again. I see that you are using the technique of associative memory.The cornflakes is linked to the tragedy. In a real life scenario the cornflakes can induce post-traumatic stress.

A dub poem is exclusive to the Jamaican culture. It's just a way of acting out the poem with heavy vocal tones and gestures.

Here is a sample; http://hubpages.com/literature/The-Children-are-Cr...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

rasta. Thanks. Please send me a link. I'd be happy to take a look


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Ruchira, Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed this.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 4 years ago from Jamaica

Cold - heartless - cruel. I like that part. Its like a transition phase.

I did a dub poem on my hub, The children are crying out for love. There is a video of a street kid doing a dub poem too. I would like to get your feedback as an expert.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Wow you narrated the whole story via a poem...good one but sad that you lost your pet tragically.

R.I. P.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

not gonna lie. I do love a good ear scratching...


Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 4 years ago from Kentucky

Ohmygosh, Mr. PDX - I just wanted to skritch all 3 of you behind the ears! What a great photo!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Till, I'm glad this touched you. Thanks for reading and stopping by for a read!

Hillbilly, I'm a critter person. Especially dogs. I;m glad you enjoyed this. Also, here's proof that I wear footie pajamas and am a critter person: http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/38370...


Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 4 years ago from Kentucky

Being a "critter person" and having lost many over the years, this poem really spoke volumes. As did your admission that you wear penguin footie pajamas. Ahem.

Voted up and beautiful. Nice work, Mr. PDX.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

In a short poem you tell an entire story, of course leading me to tears. I think most of us have had an 'Emmy' in our lives. I hope the lady who drove away found forgiveness for her terrible deed. Voted up as always.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Daw, I'm sorry you've never had a pet. That makes me very sad.

leni, thank you for sharing your story. I really do like the image of the eggs. Very interesting and powerful.

Tammy, thank you. Always appreciate your reads and your comments!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

So well written.. animals have had the biggest impact on my life too. You are so talented!


leni sands profile image

leni sands 5 years ago from UK

Poor Emmy, poor you! I really do know how you feel.

It reminds me of when I was about 11 years old and my dog Shandy got run over by a motor bike. I had been to the shops for some groceries for my mum when one of the kids off the estate ran up to me crying and shouting, 'it's your dog, she's been run over.' I dropped everything, the pot of jam, the eggs, the bread, everything and ran to her side. The motorcyclist was absolutely devastated but I could only see Shandy lying there, dead and I held her, I cried like I never cried before and called him a murderer.

Memories like that never actually go away, they become apart of who you are. By writing this you prove yourself to be sensitive person.

My memory is always about the broken eggs mixed in with the smashed pot of strawberry jam and my dog lying dead on the curbside, blood dribbled from her mouth and nose. I am still not sure that I ever forgave the motorcyclist even though he came round and offered to buy me a new dog...(obviously didn't know what else to do to show his remorse). Actually it wasn't his fault, Shandy hated motorcycles and if out walking on her lead she would bark and try to run after them. Someone had left the garden gate open that day and Shandy had wandered out to play with the children on the village green, I don't know if that someone was me or one of my friends, I blamed myself. I will never forget that dog and the love and friendship we shared. My consolation is that she died instantly and didn't suffer.

Great hub.


Dawit T profile image

Dawit T 5 years ago from Denmark

Sorry you had to go through that as a child. I've never had a pet but losing someone you jad a deep emotionel connection never is easy. Great way you got the emotions into the poem.

Cheers


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Debby and Alicia, thanks for the votes. It's amazing to me that these events happened over twenty years ago, yet i remember them so vividly. Life goes fast...


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

You've described a horrible event, PDXKaraokeGuy, but you've written a dramatic and impressive poem. I'm sorry that you lost Emmy in such a tragic way.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago

HI Justine ~ Gave this a "beautiful" because of the touching emotions from one moment to the next in the life of a child hearing this news. Hugs, Debby


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

lees, thank you. it is tough. no fun at all, in fact, but, I believe they wait for us in heaven! Thanks for reading and commenting!


Leesleez profile image

Leesleez 5 years ago from New York

It's tough losing a pet like that but one thing always leads to another and thankfully for you it led to a better place.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you lisa and Leann. i appreciate the reads and the kind comments!


leann2800 5 years ago

Sniff* Poor Emmy.


Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 5 years ago

Such a vivid walk through an emotional childhood memory. Beautiful and well written. Great Hub!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you, Xeno. This incident ended up being a blessing because after Emmy died, we got two of the best dogs I ever had!


Xenonlit profile image

Xenonlit 5 years ago

So sad how tragedy breaks into our favorite things and most peaceful times. Well done but sad memoir


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

well, mine are penguins. They even have penguin feet!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

My husband was just telling me that he saw footie pajamas for adults on a TV commercial today. Before that I didn't realize they made them for adults! (smile)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

boomer nurse, thank you very much. i appreciate it. Although, i still wear footie pajamas. Penguin ones at that ;)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Once again you've gotten us completely into the heart and mind of the little boy you once were- innocent in one moment and the next moment grappling with the death of a beloved dog. The reader feels Emmy on your lap during the long trip, realizes just how young you are from the "footie Pajamas" feels your little world shatter like the ceramic shards, and senses the cruelty of a woman who didn't wait long enough to make sure the kids at the bus stop were okay.

Powerful, poignant poem voted up, useful and awesome.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Stess, I think I'm going to use the word kindling as a jumping off point, even if I don't use the word. I'm sure I can come up with something. Give me two weeks. I have finals coming up!


stessily 5 years ago

PDX, how about kindling spirits for a theme? In a way you've already approached "kindling" through your exceptional poem, "Parasite." Does the theme of kindling spirits have a flow for you? If not, that's okay. Just keep writing. As I said to my sis Derdriu t'other day, you have an unusual gift with words and themes.

Kind regards, Stessily


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Stess, thank you! I don't have anywhere to start with a poetry challenge. Are we using the word "kindling" as a springboard, or "kindling spirits" as a theme? I'm happy to keep writing, as long as you'll keep reading!


stessily 5 years ago

PDX, a poetry challenge it is! Kindling spirits, yes? Would you be willing to go first?

Thank you for asking if I've written any hubs about my dad. My memories of him guide me as I ponder, select, research, and write. I specifically mentioned him in my hub on The Magic of Snow in reference to his appreciation of poetry. Some day I'll release the floodgates to write about him, but in the meantime I deeply appreciate your writings about your dad, for the great respect and appreciation which you clearly feel for him is how I view my dad. Love shines through every word.

Kind regards, Stessily


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

sligo, I agree. it's amazing the triggers that set off storms of memory. Thanks for reading!


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator

The human memory is remarkable in that it associates traumatic events with spilt milk and cornflakes. Sorry about Emmy and the cornflakes.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

goego, thank you very much. I hate losing pets!

Stess, I kind of like kindling spirits. Sounds like a poetry challenge.... do you have any hubs about your dad?


stessily 5 years ago

PDX, it is a special feeling, and it is definitely an honor that your father and your poems about your dad call my dad to mind. He was exceptional, and that's the way your dad comes across. Your dad and my dad sound like kindred spirits. Excuse my typo in my previous comment; I meant to write "kindred spirits" but it came out kindling, and I just decided to leave it that way. That might be my new phrase: kindling spirits, as in, kindling inspiration.:-)

Thanks again for your writing, especially your dad poems.


goego profile image

goego 5 years ago from Loserland

good write but a bummer story, lost an aussie dog myself at the ripe ol' age of 4,suked. my uncle used to eat my soggy flakes cause' I refused, tripped me out...what a stoner


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Stessily, I'm so sorry you lost your dad at a young age but I'm glad you have fond memories of him and he sounds like my kind of man. Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm honored that my poem makes me think of your dad. That's very special.


stessily 5 years ago

PDX, I like the poems about your Dad. They make me think of my dad, who passed away when I was 10. He was fantastic, one of a kind, like your dad is. My first words were "the dog," which was like saying "daddy" because my father always rescued strays. I remember an adorable black lab puppy who spent the night in our front hall; we all loved it, and the next day my dad found its forlorn family, whose faces lit up at their reunion. Thanks for kindling these memories. In this regard you and I are kindling spirits. Thanks.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Stessily, that's just how my dad it. Very thoughtful and kind. sentimental. he's not your typical dad.

Jinny, don't we all?


stessily 5 years ago

PDX, vivid imagery really evokes a sense of the poignancy of Emmy's death. She was clearly loved and loving. It's interesting that your father thought of the importance of saying goodbye to her. You've set this scene well.


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

Hahahaha! Trust me, I certainly have tragic childhood memories of my own to account for... I think I can handle it. Haha!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Jinny, yes, transporting yourself to the mind of an 8 yr old experiencing dog murder could certainly be tragic!

Tooms, it's funny because I had a real fun and good childhood. not a lot of sad. Maybe that's why the sad sticks out so much. They are healing for me. I hope you enjoy them even though they make you sad! Thanks for reading and commenting!


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

You would think that I would have learned not to read your poems from your childhood. They are good. They bring tears to my eyes. And they stir up painful memories of my own childhood, resulting in my need to seek additional therapy. :o) I sincerely hope that writing these poems are a healing for you. Nicely done.


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

I hear you. Haha I guess I just transported myself to the incident. But I guess over time we learn to forgive and see things with fresher eyes...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Jinny. It does make me angry, but I've grown more empathetic in my older age. Maybe she was ins hock and didn't know what to say. I don't really know, but from the perspective of an eight year old, she was a mean lady!


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

The cruelty of some people and the carelessness knows no limits... A great companion I'm sure Emmy must have been. It is just sad to see how a person like this woman, heartless if you ask me, could just do such a thing and then just race away like it was nothing. It makes me angry.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Olive. Good question. I don't actually think about this incident much, but when I do, it always involves cornflakes. it's interesting what evokes certain memories and what doesn't. Thank u for reading and commenting, Olive. it's always nice to see u around here!

Duchess, thank u for reading and for the sentiment!


DrDuchess profile image

DrDuchess 5 years ago from Nowheresville

aww poor Emmy! May she rest in peace


missolive profile image

missolive 5 years ago from Texas

Very sad indeed and can empathize. I still remember my Mitzy - a scottish terrier daucshund mix.

I was really caught up in the storyline. I found myself startled with your dad's announcement - caught me completely off guard - as I'm sure it did you. As a reader you took me there and I felt the moment.

I have a question - I'm into sensory details and how they evoke memories. For example, the smell of marshmallows, vanilla and cinnamon remind me of my grandmother's kitchen. I'm curious - do cornflakes occasionally remind you of this day? Or a speeding car near a school bus evoke this memory?


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Tebo, thank u. Sad. very sad, indeed. Thanks for your read and your comment. I look forward to reading more of your work!


tebo profile image

tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

Poor Emmy. It is very sad when our animals pass, but especially the way Emmy did. Lovely poem.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Fennl, I'm not familiar with the term "epiman" but thanks for the compliments. I'm a dog lover. To this day I've cried more when my dogs pass then the passing of any relatives.

Nicki, no use crying over spilled milk right?

Thanks for the comments!


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

awww no crying of spilled milk and and cereal but shed as many tears as you like for Emmy. I really liked how you wrote this.


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 5 years ago from Australia

Like the Epiman I like your style of writing also, because it is natural and spontaneous. A sad story written just the way it was. I am so sorry for the loss of your "ugly aussie mutt", who meant the world to you.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank u for reading liltea


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Hi Writer. Thanks for the compliment. This is actually the revised version. I'm working on putting together a bunch of my poems (30-50) to publish so I'm going through the process of revising all of them. Good or bad :-)


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Poor little Emmy. Why are rewriting this one? It's good.

Voted you up


liltea 5 years ago

Beautiful, heartwrenching poem. I was crying as I read it.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

i'M IN THE PROCESS OF REVISING THIS POEM. cHECK BACK SOON!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thansk again for the kind words, Epi. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the read and the follow Sue!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...by taking out the tragic context and a memory that could/would haunt a child forever, I must say this is so beautifully written (as if in a poetic monologue) and I love this style of writing because it's so expressive and direct ....hubbravo to you my friend for writing this one but naturally so sorry for the pain that it caused you and your family in that moment in time .....

lake erie time ontario canada 2:29pm


Sueswan 5 years ago

Heartbreaking and tragic but a beautiful tribute to Emmy.


SJmorningsun25 5 years ago

Oh, that is HEARTBREAKING. I'm so sorry. Your poem is beautiful; a wonderful tribute to your little Emmy. I have tears in my eyes. :-( People can be truly horrible.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for reading, y'all. I always remembered this event-- first pet I lost and everything-- but only recently remembered the details. Unfortunately, Hubpages wouldn't allow me to format it the way i wrote it so if you're interested ins eeing that, drop me an e mail (phaedoguy@gmail.com) and I'll fwd you the original document. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sympathies!


LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 5 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

So sad! Such a traumatic event for a young child. : (


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

Yes always heartbreaking to lose a pet! :(


Nefarious_Misery profile image

Nefarious_Misery 5 years ago from on the move

It's never easy losing a pet. Remarkable the things our minds cling to. Of all the memories that could have staed in your mind, it was the cereal on the floor.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland

Aaaw, poor Emmy and such a sad memory to have :(

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