Although my parents shipped me off to the “psychiatric youth residential treatment center” (or, as they told their friends, “boarding school”), I still did exactly what I wanted. I got drunk. I had sex. Most people there knew how to make a bong out of a Gatorade bottle, but not what they wanted to do “when they grew up.” One girl said she wanted to be a midwife and the rest of us stuck pads to her mattress. We wrote letters home, but our psychiatrists held them in quarantine for god knows how long. I waited nine months to hear back from a friend. I hated my life. I did everything I could to hurt myself. I got drunk. I had sex. I fucked this one guy with no birth control just so I could go home for an abortion. That cost my parents another thousand dollars. As it turns out, abortions are like getting pregnant. I laid down, spread my legs, and let some guy insert a vacuum into my vagina. It sucked. But after, I got to sleep in my own bed for a week and eat Taco Bell. I even got to see the one friend I wrote a letter to. So, whatever, it was worth it.
Brianna Di Monda is a contributing editor for Cleveland Review of Books. Her fiction and criticism have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Litro Magazine, and Worms Magazine, among others. She grew up kitty-corner to a Taco Bell.