ã€€ã€€I went ice-skating less often, and when my skates were stolen, I never replaced them. My compulsion to be always on the move began to fade. But I liked to go for long walks at night. I often walked west toward the river. The city lights obscured the stars, but on clear nights, I could see Venus on the horizon, up over the dark water, glowing steadily.
ã€€ã€€"No, ma'am, it sure don't," I told her.
ã€€ã€€"But Mom," I said. "that ring could get us a lot of food.""That's true," Mom said, "but it could also improve my self-esteem. And at times like these, self-esteem is even more vital than food."* * *Mom's self-esteem did need some shoring up. Sometimes, things just got to her. She retreated to her sofa bed and stayed there for days on end, crying and occasionally throwing things at us. She could have been a famous artist by now, she yelled, if she hadn't had children, and none of us appreciated her sacrifice. The next day, if the mood had passed, she'd be painting and humming away as if nothing had happened.
ã€€ã€€I was so excited by the prospect of living in a perky yellow home that I could barely sleep that night. I got up early the next day and tied my hair back, ready to begin the housepainting. "If we all work together, we can get it done in a day or two," I told everyone.
ã€€ã€€"You can't give me a star!" I said. "No one owns the stars.""That's right," Dad said. "No one else own
ã€€ã€€"Don't you fret a bit," Dad said. "Have you ever known your old man to get himself in a situation he couldn't handle?"I kept telling myself Dad was right, that they knew how to look after themselves and each other, but in the spring, Mom called me to say Dad had come down with tuberculosis.