Excerpt 38

“All art is the result of one’s having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end.”

—Rainer Maria Rilke

My mother’s wedding night was a threesome:  My mother, father, and Joe,  an Episcopal priest, who was my father’s favorite lover. They were in Fairhope, Alabama, an artsy town on the Gulf in 1949.

No family members attended.

My mother told me this when I was twelve years old. We were having dinner at Britling’s, the local cafeteria, in Memphis. I really liked their shredded carrots with raisins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt 37

The psychiatric male nurse rifled through my small canvas bag. With a black magic marker, he wrote “Smith” on the crotch of every pair of my white lace panties. Trembling, I stood silently beside him.

Would I spend the rest of my life in this god-forsaken hellhole in the wilderness of New Jersey? Would a bored psychiatrist give me a shot, so that I would become just another inmate doing the Thorazine shuffle?

Another Frances Farmer?

I have never been so scared in my whole life.