by Women Writers of Alaska

If you have a chance to go back

If you have a chance to go back, don’t smoke that joint with your babysitter when you’re 11 years old. Do not laugh so hard your sides ache. Do not fall in love with feeling anything but sober.
Don’t walk out into the street without looking both ways after the babysitter locks you in a room full of teen-aged boys. Don’t drink so much that you black out and wake up in strange places with even stranger people. Don’t learn to overcome the horror of this making it into a joke and calling it TIME traveling.
Most certainly do not fall in love with a junkie who will turn you out to feed his habit. Know that you will spend countless birthdays and Christmas times and Thanksgiving in prisons. Know that this will become so commonplace that you will consider prison home and be labeled institutionalized.
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