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  • My father, Antoine du Plessis, was the "poster boy" for the "organization man" for an Oil Drilling Conglomerate. Just before we left to celebrate the 42nd birthday of my aunt Anemone, smoking a Camel cigarette and looking directly into my eyes behind his gold rimmed glasses, he said: You will not amount to anything. He was prescient: I was 7 years old, had no ambition swirling in my blood stream but was happy. Very happy. But the forked tongue of the snake could no longer reach me. I was already immune to venom. I was not thinking about who and what I wanted to be. Not a policeman, not a garbage truck driver, not a neurosurgeon. Not to be stronger, taller, braver. I was my happiest when, drunk on the eastern sea breeze, seagulls taunting me, extending my skinny arms to build some wings, I would lift off some inches above the glistening sand, soon to land hard on the beach and flying off again and again. Finding the odd seashell was ecstasy. Kissing the daughter of the grocer behind the crates of cauliflower, only added some jewels to a purse already overflowing with prized marbles.
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