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I had to do it. I just had to.

If I didn’t. . . If I didn’t. . . I just had to do it. To know that I was in control. The sweet release that came from tightening my neck muscles, then squinching up my eyes, wiggling my ears, and moving my nose like a bunny rabbit. Twitches. Other things, too, like clipping (not biting) my fingernails, loading my bed full of all the stuffed animals I owned, counting to 1,000 each night before I slept, and prayers, frantic prayers that I would live until I was at least 80 if not 100.

    Then there was the biting. Of cups, glasses, pens, fingers, paper, books, napkins, washcloths, little brothers, and the fat of my forearm. One night at dinner, the fork spoke, “Bite me,” he said. “Now that you’ve thought about it, you have to do it.Come on, do it!”

    I raised the fork into my mouth, held it there for a moment to look around and see if anyone was watching, then chomped down hard. A chunk of tooth flew off into my brother’s food as I tried to explain that, somehow, there must have been a bone in the mashed potatoes.


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© 2009 Lenae Day