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When they were yelling it was easiest to be a thing not be a person. Not that I felt dehumanized, that wasn't it, I chose to leave myself is all. It was good to sit at the kitchen table while words were happening louder and louder around me and just stare at the fruit bowl always always in the middle of the table, a big ceramic mixing bowl with stickfigure reindeer dancing around the side in a circle making me think the word Lapland.

The world to which I confined my eyes was a small one but it was full of choices. An orange has excellent texture to imagine sliding fingers over, it is nearby but I do not need to pick it up to own its weight and smooth bumpiness, wet citrus just underneath. I know it is there and that is enough. Other fruit will do for variety's sake but I always come back to the orange, it is something good to lock onto. To learn to enjoy.

The bowl is smooth and the tablecloth has brown checks and these are all good things as well. When there is enough loudness around you you can make yourself be as still as a skeleton as still as a ghost as still as anything that is not really there and is not really itself. They gave me enough angry words to get a lot of practice in. I got very good at it, given enough practice you can get good at any old hateful thing.

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