I got a strange phonecall a few years ago. It started off like this:

"Is this Allie? You don't know me but..."

And thus began one of the oddest friendships I have ever had. This was Dan. A friend of a friend who thought we would make good friends due to a shared interest in three-chord anthems.

The second time we met face to face, Dan showed me his scrapbook. It was mostly made up of angsty poetry and drawings and pictures of strangers cut out of the newspaper.

"This is the page where I put all of the depressing senior citizens," said Dan.
"Those are my grandparents," said I, pointing to the bottom left side of the page. They had recently had their picture in the paper as a celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.


Dan and I were close for a while, but then my friends all thought he was strange and he moved to Port Perry so we didn't talk much.

He recently moved back.

I visited him tonight and it was weird, but I guess it always was. He put on a Propaghandi c.d. and brought out the scrapbook again.

I told him a story about someone I know meeting the announcer from The Price is Right.

"Oh, Allie. Still so vicarious," said Dan.

I sort of half-smiled and changed the subject because I forgot what vicarious meant. So when I got home I looked it up in the Dictionary.

I'm kind of insulted.

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