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I have a list of heroes on my dry-erase. I stare at it to motivate myself into action. I sometimes ask myself, "What would Stephen do?", "How would Toni lean into this 'feeling'?" I remember reading "The Bluest Eye" on a train into NYC. I was dating a conductor from Queens who was way too old for me. I knew it, he knew it. We never consummated the relationship. Slept with pillows in between us when I spent the weekends, surviving on flat pancakes and oversized pizza slices. I believe I was a junior then. Anywho, I stared out the window of the train, softly crying. I was moved and confused about what I was feeling. Never had I experienced the power of the word in that way. I had always loved books but this was different. What Judy gave me and what Toni gave me were different. I think that's when I fell in love.

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