I wondered then, not for the first time, if Amy hated me. Why couldn't I be more like Barb at the chair next to me who knew exactly which questions were appropriate to ask her stylist about her bunions? For that matter, why didn't I just ask Amy a damn question?
My brother and I grew up in the river. Like tadpoles or insect larvae, we spent our youth maturing in the fetid water. We collected things that floated and things that sank. We collected bottle caps, rubber tires, shiny glass, and rusty old cans. We collected scabs and rashes more than once, and we cleaned each other’s wounds.
The first memory I have of stealing a word was when I was ten years old. It came from a brochure crammed in the pocket behind the driver's seat in a shuttle bus that was taking my family to a beachfront hotel. "Waves crash rhythmically upon the sandy shoreline," it advertised. I plucked the word from the page and I tucked the brochure back into its pocket.