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There's Beauty in the Valley: 2021 Birthday Reflections

I was standing in line at Joe Fresh the day it opened after our last lockdown. It was a long line, so many of us itching to do something that felt close to normal. I noticed a woman approaching the line, mainly because she looked uber-confident, and was wearing an all-white outfit (something I'm always in awe of) and beautiful gold sandals.  She stopped, turned towards the line, and started yelling. Loud and fast. Arms flailing, pointing, angry. It was a really intense monologue about various eastern European governments, sex, prostitutes, corruption, all peppered with swear words and aggressive attempts at making eye contact with everyone around her. She proceeded to walk back and forth spewing her unfiltered newsreel of shocking headlines. The little girl behind me had no idea what was going on, her dad reassuring her that "the lady is just an actor doing a play". The rest of us tried to look cool and were reassured by the salesperson who stepped outside to tell us that

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