The thing about having a mental breakdown is that no matter how obvious it is that you’re having one, it is somehow not obvious to you.

I dislike imagining this conversation. Tyler’s stutter was always worse when he talked to our father. I picture my brother hunched over the receiver, trying to concentrate, to push out the words that have jammed in his throat, while his father hurls an arsenal of ugly words.

[Grandpa] was the same gentle old man I remembered, but I was overwhelmed by the distance between us. I hugged him at the door, and gave him a long look. He was eighty-seven. I doubted whether, in the years he had left, I would be able to prove to him that I was not what my father said I was, that I was not a wicked thing.