I Must Be DreamingSubmitted by Tom Sorrell at 2015-06-28 21:57:05 EDT
Late one night I was traveling north through old
Mississippi after vising a friend
in northwest Louisiana named Whitworth.
He’s got stripes around his shoulders, orange pants
and black boots strapped tightly around his ankles.
Dude’s a giant. The way you think of Meatloaf
standing next to Ed Norton in Fight Club? Yeah,
he’s at least six feet seven inches (minus
the bitch tits) and he’s not Fletch, meaning he does
not need an afro to add three more inches
to his height in the Sunday program. He’s bald
as shit with a lumberjack beard and makes his
dough as a big mauler offensive tackle
for a team in a town I once called home: Cin-
-cinnati. Riverfront is gone, but The
Jungle still roars on Sundays when Bengals play.
Anyway, I was walking north, headed up
Route One running along the levee.
My car was dead on the side of the road,
hazard lights flashing, about … oh … I’d say ‘round
seven miles back. It’s a blue Terraplane.
Cost me 700 bucks, but it only
ran the right way once, then it broke down
like the steaming heap it was. I’d found the wreck
parked behind King Tut’s Bar and Grille in Raceland,
LA. A man named Sun Pie sold it to me.
Pie’d tended bar back in the joint’s heyday and
bragged about a yarn he’d spun for a punk kid
‘bout how some men can’t hold their arsenic. “It
was back … way back … all the way back in thirty-
eight,” he said. “R.L. became the third member
of the 27 Club. See, first there was
Alexandre Levy back in ’92.
I’d just sold Abercrombie and Fitch their first
canoe. They’d asked me what to do with the head
of the moose they’d just killed for sport. I’d frowned and
told them to nail it to the wall. They did. Then
they charged 90 dollars for pants. I didn’t
know they’d take me so seriously. Good God
people are touchy, aren’t they? Where was I?”
“Alexandre so and so,” I said, wiping the
sweat from my brow with my shirtsleeve and eyeing
the keys to the car the old-timer dangled
from the bony, yellow index finger on
his right hand. The man jingled them like bells, then
tossed the set to me. I caught them and put them
in my pocket immediately, all while
wondering if the old man could read my mind.
“Ah yes,” he said. “Alex played piano. He
was all right. So was Louis Chauvin. Lou-ee
died second, in 1908, first time the
ball dropped in New York City on New Year’s Eve
in the middle of Times Square, right down the road
from Rockefeller Center and Central Perk.
He was an old-timey rag-time man, played with
tigers, ran down hills in South Carolina
with eleventeen of his closest friends and
family. The third man? I used to call him
the seventh son. His name? R.L. Johnson. That’s
Robert to most, Bob to some and Bobby to
a few select people. … Write this down, kid. It’s
important. It’s a line from a song you’ll find
out there blowing in the wind. Write it down. Now!
“You will not die. It’s not poison.” … “Uhhhh,” I said.
“Fuck that. It’s poison. Guaran-fucking-teed. Drop
the glass or chalice or grail you’re holding and
step away from the bar. Go outside and look
up at the stars. Kneel. Look down. Keep your eyes and
ears to the grindstone. Put your right hand on the
earth and feel the iron in the blood-stained dirt
from a brawl that happened last night over that
same damned woman you’ve been buying drinks for!”
I took a step towards the car as the old
man’s eyes turned from blue to green to red like two
burning coals or stars in the atmosphere. I
stood there, watching him extend his arms and pin-
-wheel around the junkyard we were standing in.
I looked to my left at a blue-nosed pitbull
named Zeke. I nodded. So did she. “Good dog,” I
said, reaching into my pocket for my last
piece of gum. It had to be 90 degrees.
“Could I have a piece of that?” Sun Pie asked as
I unwrapped it. I looked at it for a long
moment, sighed, and handed it to him. “Sure thing,”
I said, licking my lips repeatedly due
to the cotton mouth produced by heat and de-
hydration. The old man popped the pink stick of
Hubba Bubba into his mouth and started
chomping away merrily, the way a cow
does when it eats cow food. “That’s ridiculous,”
the old man said, as he burst out laughing. He
was obviously crazy, I thought. He yelled:
“Pray, Bobby! Ask the soil for forgiveness!
Will it answer you? Hold it to your ear. Hey!
Bobby! It’s just dirt! It’s not gold! Let it go!”
The crazy loon kicked at the ground underfoot
and started to weep. “Please go home, Bob,” he said.
“It’s 3:38 AM and you have a
gig tomorrow. Just one more round before you
go. No. No! Just go. … I wish I could tell him
that,” he said, turning towards me and blinking his
eyes back to green. Well, green-ish, with red flakes ‘round
the edges. They were anything but calm. He
raged, “Maybe then I wouldn’t be selling this
rusty junkheap of an automobile to
a lily-white, lace-curtain motherfucker
like your Saltine Cracker Ass. Oh, by the way?
Yo momma! … Yo Grandmomma!” … I just laughed and
shook my head. “All right now,” I said, the grin on
my face widening into a smirk as I
maintained strong eye contact with the five foot tall
Chinese man staring up into my pale face.
“Did you know Miami University…”
I began, but I stopped when he grabbed a ford
wrench and shook it at me. “Stop. I fucking hate
Florida! Don’t even speak to me about South
Beach! Not one of those people speaks Chinese! Not
one!” I nodded and glanced up at a cat on
the tin roof ten feet above me … eleven
above him. What can I say? The guy was short.
It’s just the truth. Nothing more. Nothing less.
No, he was not holding a camera. There
was a big metal wrench in his hand, like the
one Colonel Mustard used to kill you know who
in that game and film called Clue, starring Coleen
Camp and those two big, wonderful boobs. … What? I’m
talking about Tim Curry and Christopher
Lloyd. They’re boobs. Y’know … goofs? Meatballs, like that
Bill Murray guy who used to caddy for the
Dali Lama. “Gunga galunga. … Gunga.
Gunga-lagunga.” Mr. Pie was saying
that now as he shuffled aimlessly around
the junkyard, juggling imaginary
golf balls. I reached for the closest pitchfork but
found only a post-hole digger and a torn,
stained bumper sticker reading, “World’s best Grandpa”
in faded red ink. “I have to go now, sir,”
I’d said, backing towards the car. “What if she
breaks down on you?” he asked, still juggling. “She won’t,”
I said. She did. That was hours ago. Here
I am, trudging down the this dusty highway in
Bumfuck, Mississippi on my way back to
Memphis with this piece of history and the
fan belt snaps in two, sending the fan flying.
I’d just made it over the river and through
the woods surrounding the blood-stained, iron-soaked
earth of Vicksburg when the jalopy’s motor
quit altogether. Piping hot steam shot out the radiator
and into the starry night sky above me.
“Terraplane blues indeed,” I said, loosening
my collar and taking a deep breath. Rosedale
was ten miles away, according to a
hand-written sign on the right side of the road,
but that couldn’t be right. I’d just made it out
of the besieged city so crucial to the
American Civil War in the eighteen
hundreds. Thousands of people died there. Grass does
not grow in some places. The trees are gnarly.
The goats are even gnarlier. The hills are
alive with the echos of gunfire and
artillery rounds ripping flesh from bone with
the utmost precision. Tactical machines
with an unquenchable thirst for oil and
killing. Thinking, but never feeling. Ah … bliss.
Ah … a bus! A Greyhound. “See America.
Leave the driving to us.” It takes just six days
to make it from Columbus, Ohio to
Columbus, Georgia. 900 miles. Uh…
No rush, ladies and gentlemen. Just let me
settle into an aisle seat. I have to
pee frequently and don’t want some pissy-ass
little radio DJ blocking me in.
Serenity now? Insanity later.
Self-help books and motivational CDs
will only lead you down someone else’s path.
Are you a follower or a leader? Eh?
Neither, you say? Then get out the way. I go
to the back of the bus and sit down with the
bums who smell like urine, sweat and shame. Insane
eyes, hard as steel, watching me move. I grin and
make my way to the back, plop down in the last
seat on the left and smile at the dirty
blonde girl with the huge gums seated to my right.
She has large breasts as well, and a throbbing cyst
in the middle of her forehead, oozing pus,
plasma and blood. “Ain’t she a disgusting thing?”
snorts the man near the window to my left. “That
monster on her head keeps getting bigger.
I’ve been waiting for it to erupt like Mount
Vesuvias and leave us all covered in…”
“That’s enough,” the girl snaps, glaring at the prick
on the other side of me with a look so
cold I wonder if she’s a human being
or some strange cyborg and that’s 10-double-you
30 she’s leaking from her noggin release
valve. “I will kill you, asshole,” she growls through her
tiny teeth. I smile. This belle has moxie.
I like her, but the cheap diamond on her left
ring finger says she’s taken. Lucky bastard.
I slump down into my seat and close my eyes…
I must be dreaming.
I wake up on the Greyhound, thinking of Sun
Pie’s pal Robert Johnson. What’s that song where he
wails about being buried near a highway
so he can catch the same diesel behemoth
in death I am riding in life? Well … life-ish.
Before I fell asleep I’d been wondering
if I had been dreaming, then I fell asleep
and woke up a bit later. I did not dream.
The bus is pulling into a gas station
and I hear an effeminate male voice say,
“See you later, alligator.” A bearded
woman three rows up cackles. “After while,
crocodile,” she spits out through a mouth full
of once white teeth, stained brown from years of coffee
quaffing with friends and associates. The kid
she speaks to is about 19 and skinny,
painfully so, a bird’s nest of curly
brown locks stacked high over an angular face
with an odd-looking smirk spreading wide across
it. “Take care, Mrs. Henry.” … “Mrs. Henry!?”
she shouts. “Please, boy! How many more times do I
have to tell you? I ain’t married to no man.
No sir. I’ll make you feel good. Just say the word.
We can go behind that dumpster over there.”
She points out the left window towards a red
rusty, metal trash receptacle. The kid
turns white and starts to answer, but the old bus
driver saves him by grabbing his microphone,
flipping a switch near the massive steering wheel
and announcing, “All right, weary travelers.
It is 1:38 in the AM. If
you’re planning on riding to Memphis, you must
be back on this bus, in your seat, no later
than two o’clock in the morning. The kid with
the huge head of hair sighs in relief and leaves
the carriage post-haste. The big bertha yelps in
despair and watches helplessly as he sprints
down the steps, through the door, and out of her life
forever. “Egon Spengler,” says a soft and
delicate voice to my right. I glance over
and see the blonde girl with the mountain on her
forehead furiously writing in a blue
spiral notebook, using a red fountain pen,
paying zero attention to anyone.
“Winston Zedmore,” I say out of the side of my
mouth, but she keeps scribbling on the page.
“Ray Stanz,” I state. “He’s the Heart and Soul of the
Ghostbusters.” … Still nothing. “Peter Venkman!” I
holler, holding an invisible card to
my noggin. She looks over and scoffs at me.
“Who are you supposed to be, Johnny Carson?”
“No,” I reply, laughing to ease the tension.
“I’m Bill Murray. Duh.” She just sat there stone-faced.
“You said Egon Spendler,” I tell her. “I did?”
she asks, looking around nervously. “Sure did.”
“Hmm,” she says, closing the notebook and shoving
her pen in the front pocket of a yellow
backpack she’s pulled out from underneath her seat.
“Well how about that?” she asks, coldly, as she
runs a hand through her hair to make sure her bangs
cover the pulsing red molehill on her face.
She stands up to stretch. When she does I get a
great view of the rest of her … and oh my God.
The guy who wrote Brick House must have seen this girl.
The prick on my left must have had the same
thought, because he begins whistling that song
and adjusts his crotch a few times before asking
if she can touch her elbows behind her back.
The girl… (I call her girl because she could have
been 27 or 18. I couldn’t
tell just by looking at her. Either way, though,
there’s no disrespect intended in the word.
It’s just a word. I could say chick or bird,
but if I did, some feminist would hear, pull
out a switchblade and shout, “Say woman or die,
you cock-sucking … motherfucking … asshole … guy!”)
As I sit here pondering that, the female
slings her bag over her right shoulder and heads
toward the exit at the front of the bus
without a word for me or my jerk seat mate.
I watch her for a moment, thinking of the
line John Travolta says to his wife in Face
Off as she’s walking away: “Eve, I hate to
see you leave, but I love to watch you go.” Yup.
After that I think of onions, peaches, and
songs written by a knight called Sir Mix-a-Lot
in the early part of the 1990s.
And no, I’m not referring to Cake Boy.
Possessing nothing worth stealing, I nod quite
curtly at my seat mate and make a beeline
for the door, stepping off the bus just in time
to see the well-endowed blonde enter the gas
station. Jumpin’ Jack Flash is playing through the
radio of a powder blue Ford Mustang
built in Detroit in late 1965.
Some kid is filling it with premium gas
and bragging to his friend about the 10 inch
speakers he is about to sell to go with
the head unit he’s just ripped out himself. “Wires,
everywhere,” I hear his friend say as I pass.
“It looks like New York City inside yer car.”
His pal leans through the passenger window and
whistles. “Hell yeah!” the owner shouts. “That’s where
I’m going, bro!” … “New York City?” I mutter.
“Get the rope.” A few cowboys I knew a ways
back used to say that. Those dudes loved salsa. I
spent so many listless nights in Mexico.
They called me Vato down there. We’d drink bottles
of cheap tequila and sing Volver, Volver
under the brightest moon you can imagine,
then pass out, wake up and free some jerk’s horses.
There was me, James Coburn, Will Peterson and…
who else was there? That guy from Chisholm .. what was
it we called him? Was it Doc? I think his sur-
-name was Brown … or Sutherland. One of those might
be right. He looked like the dude from 24.
The kid from the bus with the massive hairdo
steps out the gas station door onto the dirt
and looks right at the muscle car blaring The
Rolling Stones, then back at the bus. I turn and
see the woman from earlier exit, wink,
and walk towards the dumpster. I shudder. So
does the skinny youngster next to me. “Hey kid,”
I say, “Who played Jack Bauer?” “Fate,” he replies
without hesitation, looking past me and
yelling, “Is anyone going to New York?”
The owner of the Mustang and his friend share
a look and shrug. The kid grins and walks their way.
A bell rings over the gas station door as
it opens. I didn’t notice that before,
but now I’m hungry. Pavlov’s dogs got nothing
on me. I wheel around and almost slam right
into the two massive chesticles of the
ice queen. “’Scuse maeee,” I say, doing my best Steve
Martin impression. She glares coldly for a
brief moment, snorts and walks past me towards the bus
carrying a bag full of candy and pop.
Soda. … Soda pop. … Diet Coke, goddamn it.
I can see the label through the plastic. This
girl doesn’t need to be dieting. She’s hot.
I can’t help but watch her walk. “Do you like Tom
Petty?” I yell at her lovely backside as
it sashays away from me. She slows her pace,
but doesn’t stop or look back. “What a woman,”
I say to no one. The bell rings again and
I’m reminded of my hunger. Into the
store I go, hunting for something salty and
something sweet. The key to snacking is balance.
Barbeque chips and a Doctor Pepper are
a delicious combination. I pick out
a bag of Grippo potato chips. They grill
them. I love them. They’re amazing. Next I pull
a glass bottle filled with caramel-colored
liquid out of a tub of ice near the door.
Setting my items on the counter, I look
around the register for the one thing that
will make my gluttony complete: Cadburry
Eggs. I find none. After an inquiry, the
clerk scoffs and says, “That frigid witch bought them. All
of them. Then she gave me the finger and left.”
I nod and smile. I’m falling for this girl
and I don’t even know her name. Samantha,
maybe? Hilary? Carrie? Ashley? Meghan?
“She sure was sexy, though,” the clerk mumbles. “Mmm,”
I say, grabbing six packs of M&Ms and
four pieces of bubble gum from a basket,
slapping them on the counter and pulling out
a 20. “Two packs of Camels,” I declare.
Fifteen minutes and three cigarettes later
I’m back on the bus next to the Betty who
has yet to look my direction, other than
to sniff and wrinkle her nose when I sat down.
For reasons I can’t comprehend, I start to
hum the melody to the Stevie Wonder
song Superstitious. The girl sighs and puts on
headphones. I can hear her music. It’s Coldplay
and it’s awful. I pull another 20
out of my pocket and wave it at her. “Hey!”
I shout, causing half the bus to turn around.
The girl turns red, takes a deep, dramatic breath
and tears her headphones off. “What?!” she scream-whispers.
“I’ll give you 20 dollars to listen to
anything else,” I say. A few people laugh.
This was not my intention. I hate Coldplay,
but I didn’t mean to mock them in any
way or embarrass her in the process. No.
That said, the thought of listening to Viva
La Vida for the next hour makes me want
to rip out each hair on my body one by
one, then jump in a bathtub full of rubbing
alcohol with a toaster and a smile.
Please know it’s nothing personal, gentlemen.
Back to the bus and the buxom blonde bombshell.
She stares at the face of Andrew Jackson for
a moment, then waves her hand and shakes her head.
“Keep your money,” she says, softly, pulling out
a nylon case full of shiny compact discs.
“Why are all the CDs face down?” I ask her.
The girl says nothing, but her shoulders slump and
she bites her lip to keep from crying. I watch
her make her selection and wait with baited
breath for the first track to begin. Trying to
guess what’s about to be played is always fun.
I hear Pearl Jam and I can’t complain. No one
would listen anyway. The audience from
earlier has grown bored and turned back in their
seats. The massive prick who’d been on my left is
gone. I stretch out and close my eyes again. Man…
I must be dreaming.
“Attention travelers,” the bus driver’s voice
crackles through the eight-inch speakers above me.
I open my eyes, sigh, and sit up in my
seat. “Next stop is … is … Mississippi. Jackson,
to be exact.” A man six rows ahead, dressed
all in black, hums a familiar ditty, bops
his head and snaps his fingers. I look out the
window at the moon over the freeway and
chuckle to myself. The old guy must have heard
me, because he turns and grins oddly. I know
right away he is not ordinary. His
eyes are dark, but seem to glow like burning coals.
He winks one of them and gives me the “OK”
hand signal, his thumb and index finger make
a circle with three up. At least, I think he’s
saying ok. He might be calling me an
asshole. Who can tell? Not me. I know next to
nothing about people and their reactions.
Ten minutes later we’re pulling into the
Greyhound station and the driver announces:
“For those of you continuing on with us
to Memphis, this bus will be departing at
3:38.” I look to my right – the chick
with the bump on her head checks a tiny watch
and rolls her eyes. “What time is it?” I ask. “Three,”
she replies without so much as a glance in
my direction. “Who hurt you?” I say, but she
pretends not to hear as she gathers her things
and heads for the exit. I follow a few
steps behind. When I get to the man dressed like
he’s going to a funeral, he grabs my
left elbow and stops me dead in my tracks. “Hey,”
I growl, through gritted teeth. “Do you mind?” He smirks.
“Not at all. Name’s Simon Appleby. What’s yours?”
“Jack,” I tell him … this is lie number one. He
seems to know I am being less than truthful,
but all he does is nod and extend a paw.
“Nice to meet you,” he says, and we shake hands, “You
too,” I state, trying to pull away to chase
after the big-boobed blonde bombshell getting off
the silver and blue motor carriage, but the
dude holds tight and keeps me from doing so. “Dude!”
I say with extreme exasperation. “Let
go. I’m on a mission here, and she is it.”
“Oh really?” he asks, the smirk re-appearing
on his thick, ruddy face. “What makes you say that?”
“Uh … intuition,” I mumble, as the girl
disappears down the steps without looking back.
“Right,” he chuckles. “I’m sure it has nothing to
do with the double-D’s buried in her bra.”
“It d-doesn’t,” I stammer, gulping because
it totally does … and there’s lie number two.
“Tell me,” he says, releasing his death grip and
following me down the walk way, cane in hand.
“How many times did Peter deny Jesus?”
“Too many, probably,” I smugly reply.
“Thrice,” the old man corrects. “And they called Peter
The Rock.” I turn my head slightly and inhale.
“I smell what you’re cooking, old-timer,” I quip,
“but pal, if you start talking about Jesus,
so help me God I will brain you. No one wants
to hear that self-righteous shit. That man was a
phony.” Half the passengers gasp in horror.
Three Spaniards dressed all in red pull out swords, but
the man in black grabs my arm again and yanks
me outside. “What in the hell are you thinking?”
he scolds. “You can’t say things like that. Are you nuts?”
“Perhaps,” I counter, “but stop and think, old man.
Let’s say you’re a Roman soldier assigned to
the hill where Christ was crucified..” “Golgotha!”
shouts one of the men in red through an open
bus window. I jump. The old man laughs and pats
my arm. “Don’t be frightened. Fear is one of their
four main weapons.” I shake my head. “I wasn’t
scared,” I said. “They just surprised me, that’s all. I
wasn’t expecting…” Out of nowhere, Simon
puts a hand over my open mouth and says,
“Whatever you do, don’t finish that sentence.”
I hear an audible groan through the window.
Simon grins and starts to walk, slowly. “Come on
now,” he says, heading towards the terminal.
“Let’s walk and talk.” I nod, light a Camel and
follow him, wondering why he carries his
cane over his shoulder rather than using
it the way my grandfather John used his. “Hey
Mr. Appleby,” I say, jogging to catch
up. “Why do you have that cane if you’re able
to walk without a limp?” The old man just winks.
“Tell me more about your theory, Jack,” he says.
“Ah yes,” I nod, taking a long drag from my
cigarette. “Where was I?” Simon avoids a
smoke ring and sighs. “Roman soldiers … Golgotha.”
“Right,” I say, wringing my hands. “So … imagine
you’re that poor bastard standing on a pile
of shit, piss and mud with hundreds of convicts
nailed to crosses all around you. You have your
spear and plate armor. Your helmet and your sword
weigh ten pounds each. It’s 90 degrees outside.
All you want to do is go home and see your
wife and kids, because that’s what matters to you.”
“Uh huh…” Simon says. I take another long
drag from my Camel and shake my head, amazed
that he’s never thought of this himself.
“So you’re standing there, all these dying men are
weeping. It’s hot. It stinks. The ground is squishy.
You want to leave, but you still have six hours
to go on your 12 hour watch duty. Now…
imagine Joe Arimathea walks up
and hands you a small pouch with 30 pieces
of silver inside and says, ‘Look at that guy.
He’s mostly dead. This is his mom. May we take
his body and bury her son properly?’”
“Ah ha,” chuckles the old man. “Just one problem…”
I smirk and interrupt him. “An empty cross
would be obvious, right?” He nods. So do I.
“When did Judas hang himself?” I ask. “Before
or after the crucifixion?” Simon’s jaw
drops and his eyes widen a bit. “You think they
replaced Jesus’ body with Judas’?”
I shrug. “Makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, why not?
Think about it: Jesus has been beaten to
a pulp. He’s wearing a crown of thorns. His face
is bloody. He’s nigh unrecognizable.
Why not switch the body and lie about it?”
“Hmmm,” mumbles the man in black. “That would explain
why Pilate was so surprised when he was told
Jesus died so quickly.” I nod and take one
more puff of my death stick before dropping it
on the ground and crushing it with my boot heel.
“Exactly,” I say. “Remember that line from
Mark’s gospel, chapter 15, verse 44?”
Simon nods, thoughtfully. “’And Pilate marveled
how he was already dead and called unto
him the centurion’ … and … holy shit, kid.
I think you just might be onto something here.”
“It’s pure conjecture,” I say. “I don’t know what
really happened that day, but let’s say it’s true.
That would give Joseph and Mary and the rest
of them time to get Jesus cleaned up. A few
days later they bribed the guards at the tomb,
took Judas’ body away, and Jesus
sat waiting to be ‘discovered’ by the guards.”
For a moment there was silence as Simon
pondered this. Finally he asked, “May I have
one of those cigarettes, please? I haven’t smoked
in years, but I could use one right about now.”
I pulled out the pack, gave him one and lit it
with my sterling silver Zippo, then lit one
for myself and took a long drag. We stood there
smoking, watching the Spaniards poking people
with the soft ends of pillows. ‘Hey Simon,” I
said, eventually. “You like Bob Dylan?”
The old man looks at me cross-eyed. I smile.
“He wrote this line in ‘Visions of Johanna,’
about all-night girls whispering escapades
out on the D-train.” The man in black chuckles.
“Go get her, Jack,” he says, a smile creeping
over his lips. “Thanks for the conversation.”
I nod, humbly, and bow my head in respect.
“Very nice to meet you, sir,” I say, shaking
his hand once more and meeting his eyes with mine.
“It was enlightening,” he replied, gripping
my right hand with both of his. “Just tell me one
thing: what’s your real name?” I grin and shake my head,
toss the menthol in a waste receptacle
and head back towards the bus to await the
blonde, but I pause, turn around and walk into
the station to wash my face and hands first. As
I look at my reflection in the bathroom
mirror, it seems to warp and shift. The face I
see no longer looks like the man I once knew.
“Is it me or them that’s insane?” I ask. “God…
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