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small orange square And so it's T-day. A year ago I was in Vancouver, reading Eno's journal, A Year With Swollen Appendices. In several ways this has been the Year of the Journal. In Canada the holiday happened last month - they do it on October 12th - L's birthday, "Lumbo Day".

small blue square I can't let the day get away without quoting my favorite passage from Catch-22 - Chapter 34: "Thanksgiving":

In the evening they all trooped out to see a lousy Hollywood extravaganza in Technicolor, and when they trooped exuberantly back the soldier in white was there, and Dunbar screamed and went to pieces.

"He's back!" Dunbar screamed. "He's back! He's back!"

Yossarian froze in his tracks, paralyzed as much by the eerie shrillness in Dunbar's voice as by the familiar, white, morbid sight of the soldier in white covered from head to toe in plaster and gauze. A strange, quavering, involuntary noise came bubbling from Yossarian's throat.

"He's back!" Dunbar screamed again.

"He's back!" a patient delirious with fever echoed in automatic terror.

All at once the ward erupted in bedlam. Mobs of sick and injured men began ranting incoherently and running and jumping in the aisle as though the building were on fire. A patient with one foot and one crutch was hopping back and forth swiftly crying, "What is it? What is it? Are we burning? Are we burning?"

"He's back!" someone shouted at him. Didn't you hear him? He's back! He's back!"

"Who's back?" shouted someone. "Who is it?"

"What does it mean? What should we do?"

"Are we on fire?"

"Get up and run, damn it! Everybody get up and run!"

Everybody got out of bed and began running from one end of the ward to the other... The ward had turned into chaos. The patient delirious with the high fever leaped into the aisle and almost knocked over the patient with one foot, who accidentally brought the black rubber tip of his crutch down on the other's bare foot, crushing some toes. The delirious man with the fever and the crushed toes sank to the floor and wept in pain while the other men tripped over him and hurt him more in their blind, milling, agonized stampede. "He's back!" all the men kept mumbling and chanting and calling out hysterically as they rushed back and forth. "He's back, he's back!"

small cyan square I'm off to my uncle's up in the City for Thanksgiving dinner.

 
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