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  • For all my degrees and years in school there is so much that I don’t know. Because I refuse to know. I am thin-skinned and afraid to find out. Things like:

    why my great-grandmother rarely talked about her childhood

    what the horrible fight was about that caused our dining room to be upended and brought my parents to the verge of divorce

    my grandmother’s stillborn babies

    the reason my mother left college for a year (and what she did with that time)

    the full extent of my brother’s illness that led him to take his own life (and my own persistent tide of guilt)

    These are unwritten stories that I don’t know that I’d want to read but I know no one else will write.

    I try instead to inhabit what I do know so fully that, instead of hovering like a cloud, what I don’t know comes in through the windows like sunlight into a parked car. Eventually, I have no choice but to open a window or else the seats would seethe and the steering wheel would be too hot to touch and we’d all suffocate inside a moving metal box.

    I have no choice. I dare myself.

    When I write, I grate my hand on the truth until it bleeds a little and then I bandage myself with words.
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