Do you really think so, Holly? Because I’ve told people about all of the above and while at one time, some definitely cared, now, far fewer do. By the “all of the above,” pretty much everyone who lives in a city now has some type of cockroach, so in my case — since I have read a lot of what you’ve written — I see you’re about as angry as I was at your age.

So this little child, and I’ll make her a girl, she is playing on the damp hardened dirt floor of her shack with something small, cool and round. And it’s alive. She has several. Some are darker and striped; others lighter and mottled. She giggles and coos as she looks up at me. The frayed blanket from her cot is trailing in the dampened mud. Along the edge, there is the ridged mark of a boot.

She is playing with snails who live in her house because the floor is packed earth, neither concrete nor carpet. To her, they are as much fun as Hot Wheels.

That’s a real, true story and it happened in Southern California not so long ago.

According to Harlan Ellison and my grandmother, “You’ll go far Amy, because you have heart.” Author of 40 books, former exec., Nebula Award nominee, Poor.

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