She treated men like cats treated lizards or butterflies they might play with or torture, but never bother to eat. She didn’t date them, but she flirted with boys and men of all ages—even professors whose classes she was already acing—just to see how they would respond.

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I keep two birds locked in a golden cage, atop the kitchen counter in a dusty, musty house. The paint is peeling, the floorboards are gone, blood streaks the walls, and the two birds stare at me from the confines of their golden cage.

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