What can YOU say in six sentences?
My childhood neighborhood wasn't the kind of place you expected to destroy its children. Quite the contrary - it expected the most from them, always pushing for better. But better is a relative thing, unconquerable, like weight; it's not just a matter of finally reaching it, exhausted and teary, but chasing it down over and over, certain our mothers were right when they said we'd find happiness if we'd just lose those last few pounds. And so one by one our brilliance faded and we began to wilt like dandilions in unseasonable heat, once strong stems bent over at their waists, petals singed on their edges and dirty from where they'd unceremoniously met the ground. In a moment of fracture I finally confided in my mother the hollow sensations spreading wide beneath my skin and she put down the little pill she sipped back every morning and said: "you'd feel a little better if you worked off breakfast before school. It's so good to start the day off with a deficit."