When you were nine I became your mother, though I never wanted to be. Your real mom, the person everyone wanted to be around because she was so funny, so giving – your real mom was so much more than that. But no one wanted to see it.
Every morning, after her coffee and usually well before we came home from school for lunch, she’d switch to grapefruit juice. She swore the grapefruit was slimming. And it was. I remember stealing a sip as she snatched it away, and as the bitterness of the juice made me gag. Or maybe it was the vodka, I’m not sure which. Either way, I’d discovered a secret that I didn’t understand, one that wouldn’t become clear until almost a year later when she took me to my first bar.