Ginger Pierce made it clear that if Deirdre were not attending college, which would be a grievous mistake, then she could not live in Ginger’s house rent-free.

So at age eighteen, Deirdre packed her bags and moved from Cincinnati to New York City. She left because she wanted to be there, where everything in the world was happening, and because she could.

She stayed at the YMCA. On the second day, she walked outside into the wide warm streets and believed she could do anything. It was July. Columbus Avenue was lined with cafés serving lunch to ladies in skirts and blouses, wearing sunglasses and lipstick, smoking cigarettes or eating salads and drinking wine from thin-stemmed glasses. Their painted fingernails fluttered like butterflies. She wanted badly to be one of them, and on that fine sunny day, it seemed possible.

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