I fell in love with the boy next door, and my own flesh became a thing I'd never really worn before. Sometimes, pressing my palms together, I thought I felt a magnetic field between them- something invisible but shaped, like sound, or heat, an egg of light, and it was thought I could hold the life force itself in my hands.
But, perhaps, I should have known then, I should have known that night, standing in the kitchen, that foul meat in the air- looking back on it now, I see that it was the end and the beginning of something more than dinner. More than ruined appetite, a postponed meal, a marriage strained, a freezer unplugged. I could smell the death between them.
Still, for sixteen years I saw the way he passed the butter dish across the dining room table to her, as if he wished it could be more, as if he wished she could life the lid and precious gems would spill over her dinner, as if that might finally make her happy- an inedible, improvident gift, like easy, unexpected laughter.
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Maybe I stepped into the skin my mother left behind, and became the girl my mother had been, the one she still wanted to be. Maybe I was wearing her youth now like an airy scarf, an accessory, all bright nerves and sticky pearls, and maybe that's why she spent so much time staring at me with that wistful look in her eyes. I was wearing something of hers, something she wanted back. It was written all over her face.
Mr. McCleod: And if there's anything I want you guys to take with you from this class, as you're abusing your bodies over break, is three things: the heart is the body's strongest muscle, that the brain has more cells in it than our galaxy has stars, and that the body is 72% water. So wherever you go over vacation, don't get too dehydrated.
Writing is really just a matter of writing a lot, writing consistently and having faith that you'll continue to get better and better. Sometimes, people think that if they don't display great talent and have some success right away, they won't succeed. But writing is about struggling through and learning and finding out what it is about writing itself that you really love.
I began to understand that dancing well had everything to do with believing you could. Like those dreams of flying- dipping gracefully through the air in your weightless body- if in your sleep, you stopped to think about it for more than half a second, you'd crash like a sack of dead ducks onto the roof of a church.