Birth to one. Mom carried me in a laundry basket filled with blankets so I could always be where the people were.
One to two. I learned to walk in a Staten Island apartment with two big brothers holding my thumbs.
Two to three. We ate oatmeal swirls on Saturday, and I talked and talked and talked.
Three to four. Shared grapefruit with dad every morning, decided to follow Jesus, and started kindergarten part-time.
Four to five. Kindergarten again, but I now knew all the rules; played boyfriend-girlfriend, cool girls, skeleton hopscotch, and box ball.
Five to six. Mrs. Veach taught first grade and I learned I loved spelling.
Six to seven. Little sister was born and we started going to a school in New Dorp.
Seven to eight. We left family,friends, and Staten Island for log cabin, new school, and new church.
Eight to nine. Dad worked nights and made hospital trips to the city with Mom and little sister while we started public school for the first time.
Nine to ten. Trouble trouble trouble and a brand new church.
Ten to eleven. New school with lots of rules and underneath my mattress was full of vampire books and journals.
Eleven to twelve. Upstairs in middle school with the big kids in cubicles.
Twelve to thirteen. Beauty pageants, secret boyfriends, and biggest brother moved out.
Thirteen to fourteen. New church and new schemes with Vannessa and Ngondi.
Fourteen to fifteen. Public school, the fear of God, and straight A’s to make everything better.
Fifteen to sixteen. Cheerleading, exchange students, Shakespeare and Co., other brother moved out, and I fell a little bit in love with my best friend.
Sixteen to seventeen. I cut off all my hair and spent my last year in the dark room developing photos.
Seventeen to eighteen. I graduated high school and moved to the big city with my boyfriend.
Eighteen to nineteen. I worked 40 hour weeks while in school full time and got engaged on my 19th birthday.
Nineteen to twenty. I broke off my engagement and went to Paris for a month.
Twenty to twenty-one. I stopped going to church, danced all night and wrote every day.
Twenty-one to twenty-two. I fell in love with God, then a man, got my heart broken, and left the country to backpack Europe alone; I came back roughed up as a pseudo-buddhist.
Twenty-two to twenty-three. I came back to my Christian faith and started drinking too much, I was still writing every day.
Twenty-three to twenty four. Been sober since January, and I’m still not 24.