i didn’t know that this book was here until i heard sapphire talking about it at the philly free library. the change in perspective allows for it to occupy a unique space between sequel and original story. the progress of a generation is shown in the fact that our hero can read, but it’s just as pain-full to negotiate his anger and conflicted voices/thoughts as he comes into his own. unfortunately, too much is the same in the way of failed institutions-the church, education, the mental health “facilities”, foster homes-it’s all another variation of prison. literally and literally. the living leitmotif of the smell of urine keeps it human, and immediate.
“When I wake up, there’s a different girl in my skin. Because I can’t forget what he did but can’t bear to remember, I make a different girl to hold the memory. I split. I create a girl who forgets; between the two of us, night girl and day girl, me and her, we’re able to move on. Day girl thinks and thinks and thinks, reads and reads and reads, and practices and practices and practices some more. If I dream after that, I don’t know it. Night girl knows the blob of slime he leaves behind, the rude, yellow stink of his piss in her toilet that he leaves like an animal marking his territory. Night girl trembles in the dark. She knows what’s coming. She’s even relieved when he cums, because at least the terror, the dreadful anxiety, is over, and afterward, when he goes, she can go to sleep, black, hard sleep that saves me.” (291-2)