When I get all precious about being a writer, I like to think of myself as a plumber with wrenches as big as a toddler. And tubs of slime I smear on the threads of every joint I seal. But my favorite tool is the drain auger that snakes into the silver labyrinth of pipes buried in plaster and wood and concrete. As I unravel skeins of phlegm-glazed hair choked with the sludge of waste and washing, I feel, before I hear, the strangled gulp of sudden liberty.
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