The Black List
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     Christmas season has arrived. My mother called me at six o’clock this morning to ask if I was still wearing the same size underwear as last year.

     “Goodness gracious,” I said, “I thought there was an emergency. Don’t call my cell unless there’s an emergency.”

     “Well,” she said, “are you?”

     “Yes,” I told her, “same size.”

     A little after twelve, a group text came in from my sister. J-- and I were at the tavern for lunch. While the waiter repeated the specials to him, I peeked at the message. It was a list of things AJ wanted for Christmas and a request not to discuss the list on Thanksgiving. AJ didn’t want to be ask...

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