Fierce Love

Mitch Teemley

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I’m not a violent person. In fact, when I was studying methodacting in college—the tap-into-your-feelings approach made famous by Brando and De Niro—I had difficulty inhabiting a particularly violent role because I’d never felt the desire to hurt anyone. My theatre teacher accused me of lying: “Everyone’s felt like killing somebody!”

But I honestly hadn’t.

A decade and a half passed and I found myself in the throes of first-time fatherhood. Until then I’d paid very little attention to children, except the sweetly sanitized ones or the artfully abrasive ones—I frequently had to suppress the urge to shout, “Control your kid, lady!” Babies? Nah. As far as I was concerned, they all looked like Winston Churchill. Give me a puppy any day.

Then came my baby. And I fell hopelessly in love. Mandy looked nothing like the Prime Minister. She was, in fact, the most perfect thing I’d ever…

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