On a nightstand in a teenager’s room, a glass vase filled with violets leans precariously against a wall. The only thing saving the vase from a thousand-piece death on the hardwood floor is the groove in the nightstand’s surface that catches the bottom of vase, and of course the wall itself. The violets, nearly a week old, droop in the light of a waning gibbous moon. Wrinkled petals are already piling up on the floor between the nightstand and the wall, and a girl only six days sixteen stares at the dying bouquet from her bed.

My life is hard. No one would rob me of that. The clothes I am wearing came out of a knotted up black plastic trash bag from a resale shop downtown. And not the downtown where shiny cars wink at you in the sunlight. If a car winks at you in this area it’s being driven by a person you would be best to avoid.
My side of downtown is crumbling and skirted by chain link fences.
–Rocky Evans

In 1938, Louise Rosenblatt introduced reader response theory or the transactional view of reading. She asserted that what the reader brings to the reading act – his or her world of experiences, personality, and current frame of mind – is just as important in interpreting the text as what the author writes. According to this view, reading is a fusion of text and reader.

Love is not for thrill-seekers, dreamers, or children with short attention spans. And you, son, fit into all three of those categories.

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