I lived the first eighteen years of my life in New Jersey. Then I lived in Connecticut for four years, followed by six years in New York.

At the age of 28, I moved to North Carolina. I felt like I had moved to a foreign country. I wanted edgy, and all I saw was warm and fuzzy. After living in Brooklyn, Winston-Salem seemed impossibly tame.

After I had been here for a few months, I went to a post-concert reception at a friend’s apartment. I was doing my best to fit in, sipping the wine and taking little stabs at conversation.

I happened to glance out the window for a moment – then I did a major double-take.

Across the street, in a second-story window, there was a naked man with a hacksaw, patiently sawing the limbs off of a dozen-or-so mannequins.

“Hmm,” I thought, returning to the party. “I may have underestimated this place.”

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