1. I like to drive in heavy weather: heavy winds in Texas, blizzards in New Mexico, sandstorms in Arizona, tooley fogs outside Fresno.
2. Before I could drive I’d sit on our swing set during electrical storms in New Mexico daring the lightening to strike.
3. In an outdoor swimming pool I dove under the water during a storm to see raindrops hit the water. Beautiful. Muffled screams from adults and a deep angry thunder rumble added a thrill.
4. My mom let me drive by myself when I was twelve.
5. My dad bought a yellow Cadillac once. It had fins and leopard skin seat covers.
6. He taught me how to swim by tossing me off a boat into a lake. He’d been drinking. I sunk to the bottom and saw a big catfish. It had long whiskers and didn't look surprised to see me.
7. Dad wouldn’t let me have cats, so when my parents divorced Mom let me have as many as I wanted. Six was my max.
8. I’d babysit my cousins and tell such terrifying stories that I scared myself and made them sleep near the edge of the bed so the monster underneath would reach around and grab them first.
9. I initiated the game of doctor so often as a kid, I feel like I should have an M.D. after my name.
10. Felt guilty about all my lascivious thoughts so went to extra religion classes and began to bathe in Lysol.
11. Went through a stage in h.s. where I stopped wearing short skirts, and dropped the length of everything to mid-calf. Boys still liked me, but the girls bullied me.
12. Stopped going to dances and stayed home and read more.
13. Stopped going to school and stayed home and read more.
14. Got a random obscene phone call one night and stayed on the line with the guy for an hour. Very satisfying. Knew I was doomed to hell.
15. Moved out of my mother’s home 5 times between the ages of 13 to 17.
16. First time lived with my dad and stepmother. When she’d leave the house, I’d pour a shot of bourbon down my throat, strip off my clothes and run around naked. I especially loved rubbing my butt all over her velveteen couch and throw pillows, which were normally off limits to the dog and me. When I heard her Oldsmobile round the corner, I’d get dressed and set everything right, sit at my desk and do my homework.
17. Even though I rarely went to school, somehow managed to graduate and through sheer serendipity got into college where I discovered that I was smart.
18. Enjoyed being smart so much stayed in school for as long as possible.
19. Began to embrace my doom more. Invited the devil to just take me and get it over with.
20. Still had a hard time with boys my age; dated a man 14 years my senior. We’re still friends.
21. In graduate school experimented widely and wildly: physical, mental and sexual possibilities and limits.
22. Started a business.
23. Never wanted to get married or have kids.
24. Got married, had kids. Thought I could have it all.
25. Very hard to have it all. Did it until I thought I was stupid for falling for that crock. Became a writer. Happy.