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Just finished "Have You Found Her?" in roughly 8 hours, just minutes after finishing "Girlbomb" (thank god for e-books!)---and let me say right now that each was its own unique, engrossing experience, for which I am extremely grateful. But reading the two back-to-back was just...something I'll cherish for a long, long time. Janice: first, your voice---oh, your VOICE! I'm in the midst of a memoir phase (no celebrities, addiction-recovery first-person accounts preferred), and yours were more human than James Frey, far more hopeful and less nihilistic than Bill Clegg, wiser and much more streetwise than David Sheff, and I was sad when that last page was finally all that remained. It's always sad when you have to say goodbye to a wonderful book that you loved reading, but saying goodbye to you was harder than usual. You and Marion Winik---I can't think of any two women's memoirs that have ever affected me this deeply. You got yourself a fan for life---and I'm delighted to have been directed to this page. Keep your heart as open as you can, and above all, BE HAPPY! You certainly have every right to be!

Sarah, what a lovely thing to say -- thank you! Wishing happiness right back to you, too. :)

It's funny that you should post this story just now. I've been thinking about this theme for a week or so now.

One of the last conversations I'd had with Clayton, I asked where all the things were that I'd given him: the silver rings that I could ill-afford to buy him, the photographs I'd taken of his house and framed for him, the book of photographs I'd compiled of his obsession with an abandoned old psychiatric hospital. All very personal, intimate gifts that I'd given him over the years, full of meaning and symbolism, connections that represented every emotion we'd shared. They were all gone.

He looked panicky, at first, when I broached the subject, and then rushed to say, "Oh, they're around here somewhere," waving his arm generally in the air and shifting nervously. But, I knew they weren't.

"Did she make you throw them out?"

"No. No, they're all just put away somewhere," he said, avoiding my gaze, "maybe in my closet."

After a minute or two of studying him, I offered him an out to see if he'd jump at the bait.

"Maybe she stole them," I suggested.

"Yeah," he nodded, rushing to agree, "I wouldn't put it past her. She's crazy."

He met my eyes and then quickly changed the subject.

The next day, during an intimate conversation -- what would turn out to be our last -- I said, tears streaming down my face, defeated, vulnerable, clawing at the remnants of what remained, "You know, I've kept everything. Even little scraps of paper. Everything."

He nodded slowly, looking at his feet, "I know." And then he took in a sad, deep breath. "Things just aren't as important to me."

And then I knew. All my heartfelt gifts had been tossed into the trash, just as he was doing to me now.

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