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  • I have been told, but I do not remember, that when I was a little more than one year old, I lived for a spring in Charlottesville, Virginia. My father was teaching for a semester at the University there. There is a ‘famous’ family picture of myself walking in a quad on the campus, in a little sailor suit, pointing off at something not in the picture. I am small and round headed, my hair curly and frizzy. I have been told, many times, that the picture was taken on Easter. I was too young to remember that spring I spent in Virginia, but I suspect it lays there deeply buried in my imagination, so much a part of me that I can not see it, only feel it.

    Thirty years later I find myself sitting with my father in the Black Sheep Café on Marshall Street, in Richmond Virginia. We are sharing a lunch, discussing ‘networking in Richmond’, job searching, and the like. I have been in Richmond two months and still have not found a job. I am frustrated and depressed, caught in one of my intensely backward looking moods. I think about where I imagined myself “to be” when I was thirty one, when I was much younger. I think about all the ideas, hopes and dreams that I had once, that seemed to have gone away, or been crushed and destroyed, or simply proven wrong and irrational.

    I wondered at how much of that is necessary, how maybe the world is simply too populated with dreams, that maybe it is our duty to put some of ours to bed, lest they run a muck in our heads for years and years. For as long, really, as we let them. I start to wonder if it is not at least partly my Father’s fault, that he did not tell me these harsh truths, or many others for that matter, about life. That there must be some unpleasant extermination in order to keep the worlds dream population in order, so that the truly special ones can grow and flourish.

    A world without violence cannot exist.

    My father looks at me and asks, “So how are you doing?”. And I look at him briefly, and say “Fine”. I look at him long enough to see that he can tell almost, the exact degree to which I am lying.
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