When you were a little girl you lived on a street that went up a hill and down it again, which gave you from the beginning a sense of purpose, a glandular sympathy with the ebb and flow of all life. You weren’t easily fooled, even as a child of seven you looked at the butcher with grave suspicion and demanded to know where that piece of beef had been the Tuesday before last.

    Beyond anything you were in love with a boy who wore a sheepskin coat all winter and summer, a boy whose blood was so thin that his mother was forced to warm him up in the oven before he went to sleep, for fear that he would freeze to death in July as he slept in his trundle bed. You loved him in part for his weakness, and in part because there was something about the way he held his head when he spoke about things that mattered to him that resonated in you as deeply as drums when you are standing near the drummer.