Anyone who knew Violet well could tell she was thinking hard, because her long hair was tied up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes.  Violet had a real knack for inventing & building strange devices, so her brain was often filled with images of pulleys, levers, & gears, & she never wanted to be distracted by something as trivial as her hair.
  That’s one thing we don’t have to pretend.  We HAVE had miserable experiences, & we ARE hoping things will be better here.  We’re almost as freakish as we’re pretending to be.
  Billy flinched & put his hand to his cheek like he’d ben burned with acid.         “No!” he cired.  His voice scraped the white, bare walls of the Seclusion Room.  He lifted his chin so he was shouting at the moon of light in the ceiling.
  We watched Billy folding into the floor, head going back, knees coming forward.  He rubbed his hand up & down that green pant leg.  He was shaking, his head in a panic.
  What I always thought I had in mind was getting some big scholarship to graduate school or a grant to study all over Europe, & then I thought I’d be a professor & write books of poems & be an editor of some sort.  Usually I had these plans on the top of my tongue.         “I don’t know,” I heard myself say.  I felt a deep shock, hearing myself say that, because the minute I said it, I knew it was true.
  I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each & every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, & as I sat there, unable to decide, the fig began to wrinkle & go black, & one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.
  What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide.  I felt like jumping out the window.  I probably would’ve done it, too, if I’d be sure somebody’d cover me up as soon as I landed.  I didn’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory.
  I have a feeling that you’re riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall.  But I don’t honestly know what kind of a fall.  Are you listening to me?         This fall I think you’re riding for – it’s a special kind of fall, a horrible kind.  The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom.  He just keeps falling & falling.
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