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  • Annoyed with the self indulgent conversation of the well-coiffed homosexual couple sitting next to me, I reached into my coat pocket to pull out the sack of coal I had gotten in my stocking for being "bad". It was the penultimate day of 2011 and for the past twelve months I had never once been bad. In fact, staring down at the red packaging, I realized that after twenty four years of life, I had never done anything remotely close to earning that coal. And it wasn't even real coal, just coal-shaped gum that lost its flavor within mere moments of the first chew.

    Even still, I didn't deserve it.

    As the train pulled away and started its race with the Susquehanna, I began to plot the self-imposed corruption that would take place in 2012. In Middletown I thought about the lies I would tell. In Elizabethtown I contemplated the drugs I would be willing to try. By the time I got to "sexual conquests" in Lancaster, the gum had already lost its flavor.
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