"She liked her wine and she liked to smoke in bed. Virginia slims. I was playing out with kids in the neighborhood. I could do that with Merle gone. They had bikes. I didn’t. We heard sirens getting louder. They all jumped on their bikes, hoping to see something. I ran after them, but I couldn’t keep up. Ran around the corner and saw my friends looking at me. I saw everybody looking at me. Firetrucks everywhere, people from the neighborhood. It was my house they were there for. That was my mom in bed. Burnt down to nothing- that was the hard part. Yeah, she’s just gone. Erased, nothing left of her. People said it was better that way. I don’t know. Made it seem like it wasn’t real, you know?"