She went through a Girl, Interrupted stage the summer before her senior year in high school. She’d watched the movie while she was nannying the little boy down her street. The next day, armed with a picture she’d found of Winona Ryder in an old Reader’s Digest and dressed in denim short overalls and a white button-down shirt, she went to the SmartStyle in a super Wal-Mart and had them cut her dark locks to replicate those of Susana’s. Completely transformed, she spent most of the summer up in her bedroom, drinking way too much Dr. Pepper and listening to Vanessa Carlton’s Harmonium and Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits on repeat, while she tried her hand at penning angsty poetry and tried to find herself in the identity of a character she had no business identifying herself with. By the end of the summer, her hair had started to grow out badly and she knew all the words to Annie*, because it reminded her of her dead grandmother and she liked to think she was keeping company with her ghost. She liked to think she was a rock. . . that she was an island, she had listened to that song too much to. She emerged from her room, depressed and completely not ready to face a new school year. She wanted to continue to get high on caffeine and sugar, and write more angsty poetry that didn’t even make sense to her. But then it ended and returned to the person that she was before Girl, Interrupted. It was like taking off a mask and slipping back into her older skin, a little more comfortable than before.
*Annie is track 3 on Harmonium