... I am reminded of my summer of One Hundred Years of Solitude. I was twenty and shared a two bedroom house with three women, three cats, and a dog. Two of the women were lovers who lived in the living room, behind a curtain. Their lovemaking was as loud as their fighting. It was summer in Greensboro and we had no air-conditioning. The bathroom door would swell tight with the humidity and more than once I found myself naked and trapped in the bathroom after a shower. The animals all had fleas and I remember trying to read as the punctuation in my book would suddenly jump off the page! Fleas! However, it was my first real home of my own and we liked each other and the rent was beyond cheap (I believe it was about $96 a person). Outside, the vines grew so as to take over the little shed where the lawnmower was kept. I was learning to cook; I was learning to drink. Our next-door neighbor was a constant visitor; he'd come over with fresh ears of corn to be shucked; his girlfriend had taken some LSD and tried to write a love note on the wall of his room with her own blood; the relationship had been ended. I read Garcia Marquez in a hallucinatory fever dream; sweaty, smelly, fleabitten, eager for escape and, to the contrary, eager to experience every hyper-aware moment of my new awakening (this was not how I had been raised to live; who were these incredibly strange people that I was learning to love?). I read always, sitting on the cool concrete of the front porch; there was always a thunderstorm about to break open over my head.