When I was fourteen, I thought a lot about killing myself—it’s a hobby today, but at age fourteen it was a vocation. On a September morning, just after school started, I’d gotten Diane’s .44 Magnum and held it, babylike, in my lap for hours. What an indulgence it would be, to just blow off my head, all my mean spirits disappearing with a gun blast, like blowing a seedy dandelion apart. But I thought about Diane, and her coming home to my small torso and a red wall, and I couldn’t do it. It’s probably why I was so hateful to her, she kept me from what I wanted the most.