The Glass Castle Houston Independent School District-Books Pdf

The Glass Castle Houston Independent School District
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The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls, New York London Toronto Sydney. Acknowledgments, I d like to thank my brother Brian for standing by me when we were growing up and while I wrote this. I m also grateful to my mother for believing in art and truth and for supporting the idea of the book to. my brilliant and talented older sister Lori for coming around to it and to my younger sister Maureen. whom I will always love And to my father Rex S Walls for dreaming all those big dreams. Very special thanks also to my agent Jennifer Rudolph Walsh for her compassion wit tenacity and. enthusiastic support to my editor Nan Graham for her keen sense of how much is enough and for. caring so deeply and to Alexis Gargagliano for her thoughtful and sensitive readings. My gratitude for their early and constant support goes to Jay and Betsy Taylor Laurie Peck Cynthia. and David Young Amy and Jim Scully Ashley Pearson Dan Mathews Susan Watson and Jessica. Taylor and Alex Guerrios, I can never adequately thank my husband John Taylor who persuaded me it was time to tell my story. and then pulled it out of me, Dark is a way and light is a place. Heaven that never was, Nor will be ever is always true.
Dylan Thomas, Poem on His Birthday, A WOMAN ON THE STREET. I WAS SITTING IN a taxi wondering if I had overdressed for the evening when I looked out the. window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster It was just after dark A blustery March wind. whipped the steam coming out of the manholes and people hurried along the sidewalks with their. collars turned up I was stuck in traffic two blocks from the party where I was heading. Mom stood fifteen feet away She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and. was picking through the trash while her dog a black and white terrier mix played at her feet Mom s. gestures were all familiar the way she tilted her head and thrust out her lower lip when studying items. of potential value that she d hoisted out of the Dumpster the way her eyes widened with childish glee. when she found something she liked Her long hair was streaked with gray tangled and matted and her. eyes had sunk deep into their sockets but still she reminded me of the mom she d been when I was a. kid swan diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud Her cheekbones. were still high and strong but the skin was parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers. exposed to the elements To the people walking by she probably looked like any of the thousands of. homeless people in New York City, It had been months since I laid eyes on Mom and when she looked up I was overcome with panic that. she d see me and call out my name and that someone on the way to the same party would spot us. together and Mom would introduce herself and my secret would be out. I slid down in the seat and asked the driver to turn around and take me home to Park Avenue. The taxi pulled up in front of my building the doorman held the door for me and the elevator man took. me up to my floor My husband was working late as he did most nights and the apartment was silent. except for the click of my heels on the polished wood floor I was still rattled from seeing Mom the. unexpectedness of coming across her the sight of her rooting happily through the Dumpster I put some. Vivaldi on hoping the music would settle me down, I looked around the room There were the turn of the century bronze and silver vases and the old books. with worn leather spines that I d collected at flea markets There were the Georgian maps I d had. framed the Persian rugs and the overstuffed leather armchair I liked to sink into at the end of the day. I d tried to make a home for myself here tried to turn the apartment into the sort of place where the. person I wanted to be would live But I could never enjoy the room without worrying about Mom and. Dad huddled on a sidewalk grate somewhere I fretted about them but I was embarrassed by them too. and ashamed of myself for wearing pearls and living on Park Avenue while my parents were busy. keeping warm and finding something to eat, What could I do I d tried to help them countless times but Dad would insist they didn t need anything. and Mom would ask for something silly like a perfume atomizer or a membership in a health club. They said that they were living the way they wanted to. After ducking down in the taxi so Mom wouldn t see me I hated myself hated my antiques my. clothes and my apartment I had to do something so I called a friend of Mom s and left a message It. was our system of staying in touch It always took Mom a few days to get back to me but when I heard. from her she sounded as always cheerful and casual as though we d had lunch the day before I told. her I wanted to see her and suggested she drop by the apartment but she wanted to go to a restaurant. She loved eating out so we agreed to meet for lunch at her favorite Chinese restaurant. Mom was sitting at a booth studying the menu when I arrived She d made an effort to fix herself up. She wore a bulky gray sweater with only a few light stains and black leather men s shoes She d washed. her face but her neck and temples were still dark with grime. She waved enthusiastically when she saw me It s my baby girl she called out I kissed her cheek. Mom had dumped all the plastic packets of soy sauce and duck sauce and hot and spicy mustard from. the table into her purse Now she emptied a wooden bowl of dried noodles into it as well A little snack. for later on she explained, We ordered Mom chose the Seafood Delight You know how I love my seafood she said.
She started talking about Picasso She d seen a retrospective of his work and decided he was hugely. overrated All the cubist stuff was gimmicky as far as she was concerned He hadn t really done. anything worthwhile after his Rose Period, I m worried about you I said Tell me what I can do to help. Her smile faded What makes you think I need your help. I m not rich I said But I have some money Tell me what it is you need. She thought for a moment I could use an electrolysis treatment. Be serious, I am serious If a woman looks good she feels good. Come on Mom I felt my shoulders tightening up the way they invariably did during these. conversations I m talking about something that could help you change your life make it better. You want to help me change my life Mom asked I m fine You re the one who needs help Your. values are all confused, Mom I saw you picking through trash in the East Village a few days ago. Well people in this country are too wasteful It s my way of recycling She took a bite of her Seafood. Delight Why didn t you say hello, I was too ashamed Mom I hid. Mom pointed her chopsticks at me You see she said Right there That s exactly what I m saying. You re way too easily embarrassed Your father and I are who we are Accept it. And what am I supposed to tell people about my parents. Just tell the truth Mom said That s simple enough, THE DESERT.
I WAS ON FIRE, It s my earliest memory I was three years old and we were living in a trailer park in a southern Arizona. town whose name I never knew I was standing on a chair in front of the stove wearing a pink dress my. grandmother had bought for me Pink was my favorite color The dress s skirt stuck out like a tutu and I. liked to spin around in front of the mirror thinking I looked like a ballerina But at that moment I was. wearing the dress to cook hot dogs watching them swell and bob in the boiling water as the late. morning sunlight filtered in through the trailer s small kitchenette window. I could hear Mom in the next room singing while she worked on one of her paintings Juju our black. mutt was watching me I stabbed one of the hot dogs with a fork and bent over and offered it to him. The wiener was hot so Juju licked at it tentatively but when I stood up and started stirring the hot dogs. again I felt a blaze of heat on my right side I turned to see where it was coming from and realized my. dress was on fire Frozen with fear I watched the yellow white flames make a ragged brown line up the. pink fabric of my skirt and climb my stomach Then the flames leaped up reaching my face. I screamed I smelled the burning and heard a horrible crackling as the fire singed my hair and. eyelashes Juju was barking I screamed again, Mom ran into the room. Mommy help me I shrieked I was still standing on the chair swatting at the fire with the fork I had. been using to stir the hot dogs, Mom ran out of the room and came back with one of the army surplus blankets I hated because the. wool was so scratchy She threw the blanket around me to smother the flames Dad had gone off in the. car so Mom grabbed me and my younger brother Brian and hurried over to the trailer next to ours. The woman who lived there was hanging her laundry on the clothesline She had clothespins in her. mouth Mom in an unnaturally calm voice explained what had happened and asked if we could please. have a ride to the hospital The woman dropped her clothespins and laundry right there in the dirt and. without saying anything ran for her car, When we got to the hospital nurses put me on a stretcher They talked in loud worried whispers while. they cut off what was left of my fancy pink dress with a pair of shiny scissors Then they picked me up. laid me flat on a big metal bed piled with ice cubes and spread some of the ice over my body A doctor. with silver hair and black rimmed glasses led my mother out of the room As they left I heard him. telling her that it was very serious The nurses remained behind hovering over me I could tell I was. causing a big fuss and I stayed quiet One of them squeezed my hand and told me I was going to be. I know I said but if I m not that s okay too, The nurse squeezed my hand again and bit her lower lip.
The room was small and white with bright lights and metal cabinets I stared for a while at the rows of. tiny dots in the ceiling panels Ice cubes covered my stomach and ribs and pressed up against my. cheeks Out of the corner of my eye I saw a small grimy hand reach up a few inches from my face and. grab a handful of cubes I heard a loud crunching sound and looked down It was Brian eating the ice. The doctors said I was lucky to be alive They took patches of skin from my upper thigh and put them. over the most badly burned parts of my stomach ribs and chest They said it was called a skin graft. When they were finished they wrapped my entire right side in bandages. Look I m a half mummy I said to one of the nurses She smiled and put my right arm in a sling and. attached it to the headboard so I couldn t move it. The nurses and doctors kept asking me questions How did you get burned Have your parents ever hurt. you Why do you have all these bruises and cuts My parents never hurt me I said I got the cuts and. bruises playing outside and the burns from cooking hot dogs They asked what I was doing cooking hot. dogs by myself at the age of three It was easy I said You just put the hot dogs in the water and boil. them It wasn t like there was some complicated recipe that you had to be old enough to follow The pan. was too heavy for me to lift when it was full of water so I d put a chair next to the sink climb up and. fill a glass then stand on a chair by the stove and pour the water into the pan I did that over and over. again until the pan held enough water Then I d turn on the stove and when the water was boiling I d. drop in the hot dogs Mom says I m mature for my age I told them and she lets me cook for myself. Two nurses looked at each other and one of them wrote something down on a clipboard I asked what. was wrong Nothing they said nothing, Every couple of days the nurses changed the bandages They would put the used bandage off to the. side wadded and covered with smears of blood and yellow stuff and little pieces of burned skin Then. they d apply another bandage a big gauzy cloth to the burns At night I would run my left hand over. the rough scabby surface of the skin that wasn t covered by the bandage Sometimes I d peel off scabs. The nurses had told me not to but I couldn t resist pulling on them real slow to see how big a scab I. could get loose Once I had a couple of them free I d pretend they were talking to each other in. cheeping voices, The hospital was clean and shiny Everything was white the walls and sheets and nurses uniforms. or silver the beds and trays and medical instruments Everyone spoke in polite calm voices It was so. hushed you could hear the nurses rubber soled shoes squeaking all the way down the hall I wasn t used. to quiet and order and I liked it, I also liked it that I had my own room since in the trailer I shared one with my brother and my sister. My hospital room even had its very own television set up on the wall We didn t have a TV at home so. I watched it a lot Red Buttons and Lucille Ball were my favorites. The nurses and doctors always asked how I was feeling and if I was hungry or needed anything The. nurses brought me delicious meals three times a day with fruit cocktail or Jell O for dessert and. changed the sheets even if they still looked clean Sometimes I read to them and they told me I was. very smart and could read as well as a six year old. One day a nurse with wavy yellow hair and blue eye makeup was chewing on something I asked her. what it was and she told me it was chewing gum I had never heard of chewing gum so she went out. and got me a whole pack I pulled out a stick took off the white paper and the shiny silver foil under it. The Glass Castle A Memoir Jeannette Walls SCRIBNER New York London Toronto Sydney Acknowledgments I d like to thank my brother Brian for standing by me when we were growing up and while I wrote this I m also grateful to my mother for believing in art and truth and for supporting the idea of the book to my brilliant and talented older sister Lori for coming around to it and to my younger

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