I spend the summer of ’99 with gold in my hair. Mom’s busy getting her master’s degree, and the world unfurls for me like I’m a queen in her kingdom. I’m Her Majesty of suburbia, ruler of the playground. No dinnertime, no bedtime—the other kids just think I can do magic. We leap from the monkey bars, go headfirst down the slides. My heart’s a hammer. Faster and faster. I’m a turning top on the merry-go-round with no mother to call me because Mom is gone with ambition and I am spinning, spinning and I don’t know how to stop.
— Sarah Vesely