Excerpt 10: Default to Goodness

Oxford, Mississippi

My mother thought that I needed to become more independent; I was five years old.

Camp Hopewell didn’t accept five-year-olds, but my mother convinced them that I would be no trouble at all. There were no ghosts of Faulkner at that place. Nothing literary or artistic. Just a shit-brown lake, a roller-skating rink, and a few ramshackle cottages for all the boys and girls. The girls’ bathrooms had no curtains, just wooden partitions between the toilets, so I only could go to the bathroom when no one else was around; my innards are very modest.   We slept on lumpy bunk beds and ate on warped picnic tables covered with red ants.