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In the beginning, the pain is so fresh it permeates not just yourself, but everything around you.

Now, after four years, it is old with a familiar putrid odor that does not subside with a shower. You cannot hide it for long.

While camping last weekend, we met a family who works at an elementary school near us. They met our daughter and then asked if we had any other children. “Yes…”, we stumbled for an answer awkwardly as the odor wafted up.

In every situation, the odor eventually saturates; inescapable.

I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can’t stand it any longer. It’s the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I’ve somehow been infected by it. – Agent Smith, The Matrix

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