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At home, my father ate all the most burnt pieces of toast. ‘Yum!’ he’d say, and ‘Charcoal! Good for you!’ and ‘Burnt toast! My favorite!’ and he’d eat it all up. When I was much older he confessed to me that he had not ever liked burnt toast, had only eaten it to prevent it from going to waste, and, for a fraction of a moment, my entire childhood felt like a lie, it was as if one of the pillars of belief that my world had been built upon had crumbled into dry sand.

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