In Which I Say Thanks to a Dead Man

For a while there, I hated reading.

It was right after my parents had their divorce, and I was all sorts of messed with. It was that delightful way where the mind (interesting thing, that) makes one thing everything’s hunkey-dorey one moment, and then a police officer is talking about how certain behavior will land a parent in jail. Yes, that happened once, and holy shit did it put the fear of God in me.

(Don’t get excited. It was because I didn’t want to go to school.)

I should explain. Before my parents divorced, I was really, really into reading. My Mom bought me a bunch of these illustrated classics books, and because of that, I can say that I read Moby Dick before I was ten. Then there were the staples of children’s/YA reading that I clung to, like Goosebumps and Animorphs.

I distinctly remember getting a mess of Goosebumps books for Hanukkah one year and spending dinner time on the couch trying to read three at once. It was hard, but I think I did well.

And then, when my parents divorced, I was hit with the realization that life was going to change. Subconsciously, of course. All I knew right then was that my mom, brother, and I moved into a smaller house next to a cemetery, which I thought was weird. I started despising school–though this was also partially because my third-grade teacher was a terrifying Filipino woman who was single-handedly responsible for my preemptive rejection of journalism–and refused to go. Instead of reading books, I watched a lot of TV and moped around a lot of the time.

Eventually, my brother went to college, and my Mom and I moved to Tennessee. (See Moving To The South for more.) There, I found myself in a very odd position.

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