There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna and I’d been treated by at least six of them. And married a seventh. God knows it was a tribute either to the shrinks’ ineptitude or my own glorious unanalyzability that I was now, if anything, more scared of flying than when I began my analytic adventures some thirteen years earlier.

They threw me off the hay truck about noon.

Hey, bitches! Today I acquiesce to the peer pressure of my educated, professional, affluent female friends and start ending every sentence with “bitches,” bitches.

Context is everything. Dress me up and see. I’m a carnival barker, an auctioneer, a downtown performance artist, a speaker in tongues, a senator drunk on filibuster. I’ve got Tourette’s.

Let me tell you about the last time I saw my dad before he was sent to prison.

There were men in my room, and it was bright, too bright, and I was being lifted out of bed.

I didn’t like my mother, and I certainly didn’t love her. The only time we actually had anything in common was when I had my own daughter—but by then it was too late, since my mother was to die before we really could compare notes.

Started with a dollar and a dream. Ended with two pennies and a nightmare.

I am lying in bed next to my brother, Lupin.
He is six years old. He is asleep.
I am fourteen. I am not asleep. I am masturbating.
I look at my brother and think, nobly, “This is what he would want. He would want me to be happy.”

For the rest of her life, Charlotte Cleve would blame herself for her son’s death because she had decided to have the Mother’s Day dinner at six in the evening instead of noon, after church, which is when the Cleves usually had it.

The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don’t know where I am, how I came to be here. I don’t know how I’m going to get home.

This is how your life can change in an instant: A stranger with a gun walks in your door.

Out here, I can feel the dead in the trees.

The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. Trisha McFarland discovered this when she was nine years old.

Oh no, not now. Please not now. I’d just settled into the glass half empty, made myself at home. 

The fire begins in the basement.
Does it hurt?
Yes and no. This is, after all, what I wanted.

A surgeon can kill you. Other doctors, to whom it doesn’t come as naturally, need a sustained and concerted effort, and even then they might have a hard time. But surgeons do it as quickly and easily as the flash of an operating light on sharpened steel, and you’ll sleep right through it.

A lullaby sung by the steak knife to my sister: Hush little baby, come find me. Sneak tiptoe quiet to the kitchen where I’m catching all that moonlight in my teeth.

I should say that I am not a nice person. Sometimes I try to be, but often I’m not.

Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond, the sweet smell of water luring the man to be picked off like the barn swallows that dared to swoop in for a drink.

Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women.

Hi guys –
I’m finally out of the hospital after spending the last three weeks in Intensive Care and, frankly, I’m contemplating de-friending all of you.

Most days I don’t miss being a cop; being a professor is a better job. But I do miss working with people willing to risk their life for me.

It is a beautiful day to get arrested: not too hot, not too cold, and a crisp breeze coming off of the waterfront.

Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago.