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January 2, 2006

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

"And you are?"The woman in the horn-rimmed glasses is not happy with her job.

"Jim. Jim Schmidt,"I blurt out.

"Smith?-

"No, Schmidt.-

"OK, Mr. Smith. You sit over there until your name is called."My eyes follow the line drawn by her finger to a worn collection of folding chairs at the back of the room.

I join the others. No one wants to speak. I stare at the floor for thirty minutes.

"Mr. Smith! Jim Smith!-

"It's Schmidt,"I say to anyone who wants to hear.