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"I was under this spell, on and off, for a full year. Then, quite unknowingly, the same uncle sent a card for my tenth birthday. This one had a Norman Rockwell painting of a girl covering her eyes on the front. It read: 'Another year older? I can’t bear to see!' And then on the inside: 'Because what’s happening to you, is happening to me.' It worked like a gunshot. Each time a flock of grimy birds began to descend, I incanted What’shappeningtoyouishappeningtome and they immediately dispersed."

—The First Bad Man, page 121

Packaged with excerpt; authenticity verified with Miranda July’s signature.