get to the next class. I arrive there in my worn-out granny dress, and lean, overheated and
unkempt, against the doorway of the classroom. Looking, I’m sure, pathetic. After that, several
people offer me rides for as long as I need them.
By the end of the summer term my knee has completely recovered.
I realize now, these many years later, that I’ve never had—and will never have—enoughinformation to understand why my mother acted as she did, with such rage. I will never knowwhat was going on in my mother’s life before she came to help me, or who she saw when shelooked at me. I can only guess. And of course, we never talked about any of it. The one thing that is clear to me is that the independence I was so proud of back then wasnot particularly adventurous or glamorous. It was not just some exciting lifestyle choice, as Iliked to believe. When my mom walked out my door that day and left me on my own to strugglewith my post-op leg, I didn’t feel adventurous or glamorous. I felt alone. I felt abandoned. And itwas not the first time I’d felt abandoned by my mother. No wonder I was independent. I had to be.