It’s a year I wish I could erase from my past entirely. Just drag and drop all the memories into the trash bin, right click and select Empty Trash.

But it’s time to revisit 2004, shine a harsh light on the patchy facial hair and poor choices of teenage Dusty.

2004: The Year of Cringe

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I’d put down a few foundational blocks for the House of Dust (my fundamental character) in 2001/02, and in ’03 I added a few more – for better and for worse. Objectively speaking not too much happened, but I did make some significant personal choices that led to this being a pivotal year for me.

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TIME Magazine had a great line in their end of year write-up about 2002 that referred to it as an extremely uneventful year in terms of international news, and that sentiment applies to my life too. While there were some major changes in my life, the whole year can be whittled down to a few paragraphs:

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It was the first time the whole family went on a camping trip together. The mosquitoes weren’t even that bad up in the middle of Haliburton that July evening as I walked back to the campsite after brushing my teeth in the washroom. I heard a strange sound coming from the property off the bend in the road, the site with the public dock.

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