When she walks in that first Monday, of course I am awake - I am always up these days - I decide to lay it down. “Look”, I say, “I snort Ritalin. That’s what I do. I snort it all day long. I crush up the pills and inhale them like cocaine. I’m up to about forty a day. I can’t stop. I am planning to get help, to check into rehab or something like that, as soon as this book is finished. In the meantime, I can’t stop, and I am not going to.” She looks at me impassively. “I don’t care what you think about it. So you have a choice. I can sit here and do it in front of you, or I can keep running into the bathroom so you don’t have to see. Either way, it’s going to happen, so it’s just about how bad it’s going to make you feel to watch.”She doesn’t seem to know what to say. She stares. I think she is going to cry. I think she wants to give me a hug, maybe, but there is an invisible cage, a delicate netting of glass, an ice sculpture surrounding me that no one can walk through. I’m cold. I’ve frozen into someone who just can’t be touched. I dare you to try.
I was meant to date the captain of the football team, I was going to be on a romantic excursion every Saturday night, I was destined to be collecting corsages from every boy in town before prom, accepting such floral offerings like competing sacrifices to a Delphic goddess.
My imagination, my ability to understand the way love and people grow over time, how passion can surprise and renew, utterly failed me.