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The Worm by A recruit


`Hey son, this is your stop.` The voice jolted me out of my daydream, like a
fisherman yanking a fish out of water. After a half day`s wandering trip, my
mind had wandered too, not even noticing the grinding halt we had come to in
front of the bus depot. `Umm ... thanks,` I half replied. But he barely heard,
already out the door to retrieve my stowed-away baggage. I rose a bit
unsteadily to my feet, a mixture of emotions churning through me, glad the
journey was over, unsure as to what lied ahead.

My summer certainly wasn`t turning out to be what I had planned, or more
truthfully, what I had not planned. I was between my junior and senior year at
high school. Next summer was already full of plans for college,
responsibilities looming down on me. But with still one more year of high
school to go, I was planning to enjoy every minute of this season. That had
all changed in the space of two weeks. My dad`s voice was still echoing in my
ears `Uncle Frank wants you to come and stay with him this summer.` Uncle
Frank. Uncle Frank??? My dad`s older brother. I barely knew him and didn`t
know what to make of what I did. Uncle Frank was a military man. And not just
any military man. A Marine. A Marine Officer at that. `Mister Gung Ho`
dad always called him, with a bit of pride in his voice. `Mister
Disciplinarian,` `Mister Squared-Away.` And here was I, about to enter his
world.

I hadn`t seen very much of Uncle Frank growing up. He and his family always
seemed to be where we weren`t. Halfway across the country, or halfway around
the world. The last visit had been more than five years ago. Bounding down
the bus steps, the sun`s glare momentarily blinding, I shaded my eyes with my
hand. But before I could collect my thoughts, a voice called my name. Without
even turning, I recognized it. Uncle Frank.

There was no mistaking it was him. And there was no mistaking what kind of a
man he was. Everything about him said `United States Marine Corps.` His walk.
His build. His demeanor. The perfect creases in his clothes. The spit-shine on
his shoes. His self-confident `in-charge` demeanor. But most of all, his
haircut. It was the shortest haircut I`d ever seen. On anybody. And every
time I had seen him, it had always been the same. The back and sides clipped
to bare skin, all the way up to the crown. The top did have hair, what there
was of it. Barely, I guessed, a quarter-inch at most. And it always looked as
though he had just walked out of the base barbershop. `A high-and-tight,` my
dad had said when I asked about it. `Your Uncle Frank says it`s the classic
Marine haircut. I think he was born with it.` Well, I wasn`t sure of that,
but I was sure his two boys were. Whenever I had seen them, they had the
identical haircuts of their father. High and tight, or whatever they called
it. And squared-away in every other respect, too. Just like soldiers.
No `yeah` or `nope.` Everything was `Yes Sir,` and `No Sir,` `Yes ma`am,
and `No ma`am.` Cammi T-shirts. Green fatigues sometimes. The bathroom
was `the head.` They `policed the area.`

But now it was 1972. Their most recent pictures, sent last year, showed they
still looked the same. One of the boys was now already in The Corps, the
second preparing to join his brother. And still the same haircuts. What had
seemed merely unusual to us at a younger age now brought snickering. `Look at
those guys,` my younger brother and I said, laughing. `What dopey looking
haircuts.` `Hey,` said Dad. `Those are fine haircuts. Damn fine
haircuts.Maybe you boys need haircuts just like that. Then you wouldn`t have
anything to laugh at.` That shut us up, quick, in front of Dad, but between
the two of us, we still laughed. Nobody, nobody our age looked like that.
After all, it was 1972.

Haircuts were starting to be an issue between me and Dad. In the past, we had
always gotten short tapers. Every two weeks. Now that longer hair was popular
for boys, our biweekly trip to the barber had become a sore spot. Sometimes,
I managed to stretch it to three, or three and a half weeks. But when Dad got
us in the barber chair, he`d simply say, `do them up just like me. Just barely
enough to comb over. Close back and sides. Don`t skimp on the hair tonic.`
Out would come the clippers, and our hard-won extra 1/2 inch was gone in just
a few seconds. The bangs disappeared, replaced with a long, straight side
part, every hair heavily slicked down.

But in the last weeks, I`d won a major victory. My little brother still went
with dad, but I didn`t have to go. I hadn`t had a haircut in eight weeks!
Eight beautiful, glorious weeks! The hair hung down to nearly the bottom of my
collar, my ears now completely covered. I could tell dad didn`t like it at
all. But he was quiet about it. Eerily quiet. And now, Uncle Frank`s stare
seemed to be going right through me. Penetrating. Uncle Frank shook my hand,
his massive grip like hardened steel. Then his eyes followed a course right
up to my hair. My long, blond hair. His grin quickly disappeared. It was
replaced by a look of disgust, a scowl. `I didn`t recognize you with all that
hair. You look like a damn shaggy dog.`

Instantly, the summer sun felt uncomfortably hot. I could feel it beating
down on the back of my neck. I shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the
other, trying to think of some way to shift the conversation away from the
turn it was taking. I had expected Uncle Frank would probably say something
about my hair, I just didn`t expect it to be the second thing out of his
mouth, after hello. Uncle Frank was watching my face intently. Then he slowly
started walking a circle around me, looking at my hair from every side. `How
long since you been to the barber?` I heard him say, his voice thick with
disgust. My mouth opened to say something, anything but Uncle Frank cut me
off. `Don`t worry son. I`ll see you get squared away. Real squared away. The
Marine Way.` Then stepping very close to me, putting his face right into
mine, he said in a very measured, determined, low tone: `I promise you.` I
gulped audibly. Less than thirty seconds in his presence and I was already
intimidated.

The house where Uncle Frank and Aunt Mary lived was immaculate. Everything was
squared away, perfectly neat. Just like a Marine. `You can stow your gear in
here` said Uncle Frank, leading me into the spare bedroom. The room was neat
as a pin, although very austere looking. `You don`t need to get unpacked just
yet` Uncle Frank was saying, clearly in charge. I looked at him
quizzically. `Follow me down to the study. We`re going to have a little pow
wow, just you and me.` Neither of us speaking, we walked into Uncle Frank`s
study. What was he going to complain about now, I wondered? `Close the door
behind you` was all he said, in a commanding tone. Reaching behind me, I
pulled the door to, it`s click having an odd finality to the sound.

The study looked like a shrine to the Marine Corps. Behind Uncle Frank`s desk,
stood two flags on poles. One was a US flag, the other had the Marine Corps
emblem. On the wall behind was a huge recruiting poster. Everywhere I looked,
there was something that had to do with the Marine Corps. Mister gung-ho. Dad
was right. Uncle Frank took at seat behind a huge, military-style metal desk.
I stood there on the other side, facing him, suddenly feeling small, like
some recruit about to get a dressing down by his superior. I could feel a
knot rising in my stomach.

`Son, we`ve got some regulations around this house. As long as your staying
here with me, you`re going to follow them. No exceptions.` `First of all,
your hair is going to be cut. Marine Corps regulation. Well within
regulation.` I stared at him, a disbelieving feeling rising in the pit of my
stomach. I didn`t expect him to start harping on my haircut, not this soon. I
stammered a bit, the words tumbling over each other as they came out. `But
Uncle Frank, I don`t need a hair...` `Did I ask you if you thought you needed
a haircut?` he replied, cutting me off, the volume of his voice rising. He
was now staring hard at me, a red color starting to rise through his face. I
was caught off guard by this line of questioning. `Uh ... no ...` was all I
managed to get out. `Then don`t volunteer your opinion unless it`s
asked.` `Uncle Frank,` I said, my voice now pleading `Please, please don`t
make me get a haircut.` But
the pleading tone of my voice only seemed to fuel him. `I see you`re going to
need some help making the right decision.`

Reaching down, he slowly pulled open one of his desk drawers, taking something
out, and setting it on the desk between us. The sight of it struck a chord of
fear in me. It was a pair of hair clippers. The biggest pair of black hair
clippers I`d ever seen. The black case shone brightly, contrasting with the
metallic, steel blade on the end. A blade that looked as though it had only
one purpose. Determined. Savage even. Deadly to a head of hair like mine. The
knot in my stomach was rising now, like voices in a choir soaring. Although
the room was cool, I could feel myself perspiring. Uncle Frank`s voice cut
through my thoughts. `I`m going to make the choice easy for you. Real easy.`
He slowly rose from his chair. `Either you come with me to the barbershop
right now and get a haircut, a real man`s haircut, or I`m going to take those
clippers and give you a haircut shorter than you`ve ever seen. Shorter than
you`ve ever imagined. Right here. Right now.`

I stared at Uncle Frank, too stunned to say anything. My mouth opened but no
sound came out. He`s kidding. He`s got to be kidding. Any second now he`ll
start laughing. We stared at each other for a second. Surely, I could find
some way to get him to back down, to compromise. Some point of weakness, of
giving in. Nothing. The silence in the room was deafening, roaring,
threatening to cave in on me. `My dad ... I mean ... he wouldn`t like it if I
got a hair...` `Your dad?` replied Uncle Frank `Son, haven`t you figured out
why you`re here? Your father and I had a long discussion about you, about
your future. He didn`t want you just sitting around wasting the summer,
goofing off. You`re almost an adult now. It`s time you started maturing,
learning discipline.` He let his words sink in for a second. `Your dad told
me how you didn`t want to get your haircut` he continued. `Every trip to the
barber was becoming a battle. I told him don`t even mention the haircuts any
more. Leave it to me. It will never be a problem again.`

Suddenly, it was all clear. That`s why Dad had let me skip the last trip to
the barber! That`s why I hadn`t had a haircut in eight weeks! I was sure I
had won a major victory in the haircut wars. Instead, I had been silently
maneuvered into a corner. I felt sick, as though somebody had sucker punched
me in the stomach. Uncle Frank had come out from behind the desk now. Not
wanting to give me the opportunity to make a mad dash for the door, he had
cleverly positioned himself between me and the only exit. He stood there, his
massive arms folded across his chest, his gaze like a hot light.

`Well, sound off. What`s it gonna be? The barbershop, or me?` I was no match
for Uncle Frank. He knew it. He stood over six foot tall. His physical
conditioning had served him well. I` But, I suddenly thought, I had some kind
of chance at the barbershop. Maybe it wouldn`t be cut too short. Maybe the
barbershop would be closed. Maybe Uncle Frank would have a flat tire. Maybe
something. Anything. Anything to give me a little time to think, to find an
out. `Okay` I said, in a weak voice, my chin drooping just a bit, my
shoulders slumping just a little. `I`ll go.` `Good` he said, as though he`d
known what my answer would be all along. `Smart choice. There`s some hope for
you yet.`

The next minutes passed blindingly fast. Within sixty seconds, we were
pulling out of the drive, heading for the barbershop. As luck would have it,
the shop was only minutes away. And in the window a sign `Yes, We`re Open.`
And another sign `Traditional haircuts only. Military welcome.`

And that barber pole. I couldn`t take my eyes off it as we pulled up. That red
and white striped symbol seemed to have a life of its own. Twisting and
turning, just like a relentless worm, burrowing its way into my psyche, my
mind, my very soul.

`And one more thing,` Uncle Frank was saying, in his commanding military
tone `When we walk in this shop, I don`t want to hear one word of complaint.
You will sit in that chair and you will take your haircut like a man. You
will make me proud of you. Savvy?.` `OK,` I said, still in shock, finding it
hard to imagine that the barber`s chair was only minutes, maybe even seconds
away. `It`s yes sir,` Uncle Frank replied `Yes sir, and No Sir around here.
Say it.` `Yes Sir,` I said weakly, unsure of the words. `Soon it will come
easier. We`ve got all summer to work on your manners. Physical training. And
lots of other things.`

We were out of the car now, walking toward the shop now. I felt like a man
walking toward his execution, his doom. Underneath my shoes, the gravel was
crunching a loud warning. Now Uncle Frank was opening the door to the shop
now and in the blast of escaping cool air, I tensed up. The smell came
rushing up my nose. Only one place in the entire world smelled like that. That
unmistakable `barbershop` smell. A mixture of scents: hair tonic, bay rum,
aftershave and who knew what else. Every time I smelled that, I could only be
in one place. I was walking into a barbershop.

This shop was straight out of the 1950`s, a frozen scene unthawed and come to
life. Nothing in the shop hinted that there had been any change in men`s
haircuts in the last ten years. Chairs with tubular chrome frames and vinyl
seats lined one wall, which was finished in knotty pine. Along the other side
stood three barber chairs. Thrones of tonsorial transformation. On the
counter behind the chairs were numerous hair clippers, all under a faintly
glowing bluish light inside an open-front cabinet, their black cords like
sleeping snakes, ready and waiting to be wakened. Alongside the clippers were
numerous metal blades, also waiting to be attached, their edges gleaming in
the bluish glow. Behind the clippers, a dozen bottles of hair tonic and after
shaves were standing at attention, various shades of amber, yellow, green,
and several milky, opaque white. A jar of butch wax and pomade. Next to these
stood a jar filled with a bluish liquid, in which several combs were sitting.
The windows at the front of the shop stretched almost floor to ceiling. Lined
up on the bottom ledge of the window, filled along the entire length, were
empty hair tonic bottles, their labels facing out like little sentries,
protecting this shop from the now changing world, and broadcasting a clear
message. A large decal emblazoned the front door. `Keep America Beautiful. Get
A Haircut.` A large picture at least twenty years old, was tacked along the
wall, showing haircut styles, Other advertising signs completed the
look: `Vitalis-Take the V-7 workout,` `The Smart Look is The Brylcreem Look,`
along with several other products I had never heard of. Two military
recruiting posters completed the look.

The barber and my uncle greeted each other like old friends. The barber`s
haircut was very similar to Uncle Frank`s, except that on top it was cut into
a very short flattop. It was so short on top, I could see his scalp through
it. This guy was going to have no mercy. `It hasn`t been a week yet,` the
barber asked, `what are you doing here`? It was then that he noticed
me. `This is my nephew. My brother`s son` Uncle Frank said. `He`s here for the
summer.` `Well,` said the barber to Uncle Frank, `I can see why you called
me.` Then he looked me up and down, his eyes finally resting on my long blond
hair. `Looks like you got him here just in time.` Then the barber slowly,
deliberately turned the chair so it was facing right at me.

It was an old-fashioned looking chair. Lots of shiny chrome, polished
brightly, a seat of deep red leather. `Have a seat, sport,` the barber said.
The tone of his voice sounded like he was going to enjoy this. I hesitated,
staring at the chair. It`s chrome arms seemed to reach out to me, their shiny
metal glistening in the shop`s light.

Uncle Frank was quick to notice my reluctance. `Sit. Now` he barked, in that
voice that conveyed a deadly seriousness. I felt Uncle Frank`s hands on my
shoulders, vectoring me straight into the chair`s wide open maw. I slipped
into the chair, almost seeming to move in slow motion. Uncle Frank stood over
me now, glaring, waiting to quash any sign of resistance. Quickly, very
quickly, the barber placed a collar of paper around my neck, then I was
firmly, finally sealed in with a pin-stripe barbers cape, white and crisp.

`What will it be today, sir?` the barber asked Uncle Frank, his voice full of
undisguised optimism, as if he already knew what was coming. Slowly,
deliberately, as though he had been planning the moment for weeks, Uncle Frank
spoke. The words that sealed my fate. `Give him a haircut exactly like you
give my boys. High and tight. Marine high and tight.`

I gasped a sudden, inward breath of air. His words hovered in my ears. My
laughter at his son`s haircuts started coming back at me, like a cold slap in
the face. I was going to look like them. Exactly like them. And there was
nothing, absolutely nothing that I could do about it.

`Yes sir,` said the barber. Then with a menacing tone he added the
words `It`ll be a pleasure.` Slowly, the barber began to raise the chair. Each
ka-chunk of the mechanism echoed in the shop, sounding even louder against
the silence. The barber faced me squarely away from the mirror. Sitting in the
first chair, directly in front of those big windows, anyone walking by would
get a good look. But I wasn`t worried about that. Uncle Frank had my full
attention, glaring at me, holding me more firmly than any physical matter
could.

Then I heard the sound of clippers being flipped on. A steady buzzing sound
with an aggressiveness to it, a hard edge. The sound of steel on steel. I felt
the barbers hand on the back of my head, steadying it. And then I saw them,
clippers moving in. The barber was moving the clippers right at my head,
aiming for front and center. At the last second, just before they touched my
hairline, I tipped my head back a fraction of an inch, foolishly trying to
delay the inevitable. The barber, backing off with the clippers just an inch
or two, slid his hand up into the thick, long blond hair on the back of my
head. Closing his fingers together, his now tight grip on my hair was vise
like. I couldn`t move my head in any direction now, no matter how much I
wanted to. `Don`t,` he said under his breath to me `move.`

This time the clippers moved in again. And this time, there was no moving
back, no flinching. In one continuous, steady motion, the clippers cut a
swath, straight down the middle of my head, starting at the front hairline and
going all the way to the back of the crown. The clippers roared, the pitch
dropping as they bit mercilessly into my thick, full hair. Clumps of blond
began raining down in front of me, rolling off my cheeks and nose, landing on
the pin-striped, gleaming white cape. And Uncle Frank was towering over me,
watching. The clippers came back to cut another swath, like a bomber making
his run. More hair tumbled down with each pass, covering the cape. After five
or six passes on top, he then went over the area again, slowly.

He let go of the back of my head, and placed his hand firmly on top. Now he
was going up the right side, starting at the hairline and going all the way
up to the crown in one quick, fluid motion. He went over the area repeatedly,
then started another path further around. When he got to the back, he pushed
my head down so that my chin touched my chest. I felt the clippers going up
the back now, starting at hair covering my shirt collar, and not ending till
they had gone all the way up. He was moving around to the other side now, my
hidden ears now completely uncovered.

This wasn`t like any other haircut I had felt before. He was going to cut
everything off, I was certain. I saw the pictures of Frank`s boys in my mind.
Now, they were the ones laughing. `No, not that,` I said to myself. `Please.
Anything but that.`

Then, just as suddenly as it started, the buzzing stopped. My eyes shifted to
Uncle Frank, but his face was stone, showing no sign that this ordeal was
finished. The suspense was almost more than I could stand.

`Now` said the barber `Let`s see if we can get this tightened up.` Tightened
up? I looked at Uncle Frank again, but his face gave me no clue. Then I heard
the buzzing of hair clippers start again. But this was a different sound than
the first. Theirs was a raucous, hungry aggressive noise. This really wasn`t
a buzz at all, more of a low hum. Determined, certain. I wanted to recoil
against it. The barber put his hand on top of my head again, steadying it as
though he had done this a thousand times before. Suddenly, I felt clippers
moving up the side of my head, a straight vertical path ending right where
the crown started. Now another path, further back, overlapping the other. He
was cutting even more hair off! I thought of pictures I`d seen of army
recruits,
their heads completely clipped bare. I was paralyzed with fear. These
clippers felt different too, as those they were taking off whatever remnants
had been left from the first set. A perfectly designed mechanical device,
expert at shaving off the last bit of hair wherever they passed. Their
humming seemed to go right into my brain, penetrating right down to my core,
the very heart of me. I saw the barber pole, the worm turning, spiraling deep
inside me now, smashing the last of my defenses. I belonged completely to it.

The barber had moved around the back and was now coming up the other side,
full, even, perfect strokes, right up to the crown every time. As he made the
last full stroke, I could see him flick the clippers just so with his wrist,
the little bits of hair flying off the metal blade. He stood back for just a
moment, admiring his handiwork. Then he slowly pulled from his front smock
pocket a long black comb. This wasn`t a regular pocket comb, but one of those
long, tapered barber combs. He wasn`t smiling, but his eyes twinkled, as
though he was enjoying every second of this. `Lets blend that edge in just a
little bit.`

Then moving in with the comb and clippers, he methodically, slowly, skillfully
circled around again, his clippers and comb touching just the area above
where the second clippers had stopped, little bits of hair flying. He stepped
back again, eyeing me sitting there in the late afternoon light and moved
back in repeatedly, trimming up the final spots which were not regulation
perfect.

Finally the buzzing stopped. I sensed the barber turning away from me, moving
items around. It sounded like a liquid was being shaken in a bottle. Suddenly,
the barbers hands were on the sides on my head. He was rubbing in a wet,
cooling sensation on the sides of my scalp, his fingertips massaging the
scalp between my earlobes and my head, then going around the ears, down and
back, rubbing the tingly liquid on the back of my head, my neck. That
barbershop smell. That same smell that wafted out the door of the shop. Sure,
I`d smelled the aftershaves my dad slapped on each morning after shaving but
this was different. This was a particular scent you only smelled on people
that had just come out of barbershops. Unmistakable. The barber massaged it
into whatever hair was remaining on the top of my head, not missing a single
strand of hair. Then his hands rubbed over my head in a final flourish,
seemingly coaxing, massaging the sharply scented, tingling liquid into every
square millimeter of my scalp. The barber stepped back, now walking around to
the front of the chair for a final look. My scalp and hair felt a cool, yet
stinging sensation, tingly with the astringent fluid. The scent wafted off
me, seeming to fill the tiny shop. A smell that would be with me the rest of
the day, and the night.

The barber was grinning widely now, staring at the metamorphosis that had come
about in his chair. He was pleased, no doubt proud of his work. This man was
no ordinary barber, but a craftsman, a master whose military haircuts were
second to none. `There he is, sir,` the barber said, a triumphant note ringing
in his voice. `High and tight, just like your boys. One and a-half blade on
the top, edger on the back and sides.` I looked over to see Uncle Frank`s
reaction. Slowly, victoriously, a smile crept over his face, like the sun
coming up. Not just any smile, but the kind of smile you saw on a coach at
the end of a winning game. Victorious. Conquering. Vanquishing. Uncle Frank
had won. Completely. Fully. Fatally. Stepping up to the chair, he inspected
the haircut minutely, his eyes burning into my scalp. Reaching out with one
finger, he slowly dragged the side of it up the side of my head. It felt like
he was rubbing his fingers on the finest sandpaper, the rubbing making an
odd, swishing sound unlike any I`d ever heard. `Nice,` he said, savoring the
moment, emphasizing each word slowly `Real nice.`

Uncle Frank stepped back and now the barber was turning me around toward the
mirror. Faced away from the mirror, my mind could only imagine what had been
happening to my head. Looking in the mirror, I saw both the barber and Uncle
Frank watching my reaction. The barber was still grinning, proud of his
handiwork. Uncle Frank was watching me like a hawk. Then I saw somebody in the
mirror, a stranger. Had somebody come in the shop during my haircut? I hadn`t
seen, hadn`t heard anything. I moved my head and suddenly the full force hit
me. That stranger was me.

There I sat, my head surrounded by the barber cape. The top had been cut down
so it looked a though not even a quarter-inch was left. The sides were
clipped down to the bare skin. From Uncle Frank`s finger on my scalp, I knew
there was less than a half a millimeter there, but with my blond hair, it was
invisible. The scalp shone brightly on the sides, reflecting the light,
glistening dampness from what the barber had rubbed in. Part of me wanted to
look away, not believing it was me, yet part was fascinated, unable to take
their eyes off the image reflected in the mirror. I looked exactly like Uncle
Frank`s boys.

The cape and paper collar came off and I struggled to my feet, the chair
finally releasing its grip. My muscles ached, as though I had just been in a
fight. My knees felt weak and shaky. How many weeks, months would it take for
my hair to come back? It was going to take me all summer to grow it back even
close to its former self! At least I was glad that school was nearly ninety
days away, so I wouldn`t have to walk back in looking like this.

Uncle Frank and the barber were shaking hands now, grinning wildly at each
other. Frank slapped him on the back, `Great work. Now he looks like a
man.` `You look a little shell shocked, kid`, I heard Uncle Frank saying. His
voice sounded triumphant. `Don`t worry boy, next week it will be easier.` I
heard a disembodied voice coming out from inside me now. `Next week? Next
week?` `A haircut like that needs to be tightened up every seven days, kid.
We`re gonna be here every seven days now, getting it tuned up. Just you and
me.` His words hung in the air, like smoke rings wafting in front of me.

My summer was going down now in final, flaming defeat. Who thought up this
medieval torture, my brain screamed? It`s standard US Marine Corps issue,
Uncle Frank was saying. `Any Marine worth his pay knows it inside and out.
Wears it proudly. Like you`re going to do.` Frank was pulling out his wallet
as he spoke. But the barber held up his hand, like a traffic cop. `This one`s
free. On the house.` `You sure?` asked Uncle Frank. `This one`s worth every
cent and more.` `Absolutely,` replied the barber. `It`s days like this
thatmake me glad I became a barber.` Then the barber looked at me. `See you
in seven days, sport.`

Uncle Frank turned to me, half grinning at the shocked, dumb look on my
face. `Don`t worry kid,` he said, his voice oozing confidence, `you`ll soon
be gung-ho about your haircut. About a lot of things.` He paused again,
letting the full force of the words penetrate my consciousness. `I promise
you.` And deep down inside of me, I knew something. Uncle Frank was right.



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