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I got rid of a lot of things before I left to travel. It was a nice feeling to purge everything unnecessary, everything unneeded, from my life. In the end I sold, threw out, or donated over two-thirds of my belongings. Still, I kept many things, a couple of boxes of books included. (Plus a few more boxes dedicated entirely to The Baby-Sitters Club...

1. "If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days." Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar ...

On my way to the Printer's Row Book Fair, I pondered why anyone would walk on the street when if they took about 10 steps to the east they could walk through the park. I also figured everyone thought I was a tourist because, as always, I was snapping pictures of everything. (Seriously, I was taking a photo of the bridge and this Asian dude asked if I wanted him to take my pic in front of it...

Out of the dullness, one thought arose. [He] did not love her and never really loved her and the knowledge did not hurt. It should hurt. She should be desolate, broken hearted, ready to scream at fate. She had relied upon his love for so long. It had upheld her through so many dark places. Yet, there the truth was. He did not love her and she did not care. She did not care because she did not love him. She did not love him and so nothing he could do or say could hurt her. ...