Back when I was a small boy, old people had gazing balls in their gardens. I still remember the first time I encountered one. It seemed alien, a shiny object placed there by strange forces. And for a small boy raised to be cautious, it looked very breakable. I imagined what the adults would say if I'd somehow caused the thing to roll off its pedestal and disintegrate. I remember thinking that a lot when I was young—"Just be careful."
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