"Come on, give us a smile."
I had tried concealing myself in the powder room, but it didn't work. I didn't want my picture taken because i was going to cry. I didn't know why i was going to cry, but i knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and i'd cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full. (...) We were supposed to be photographed with props to show what we wanted to be. When they asked me what i wanted to be, i said i didn't know.
"Oh, sure you know", the photographer said.
"She wants", said Jay Cee wittily, "to be everything."
I said i want to be a poet.
"Give us a smile."
At last, obediently, like the mouth of a ventriloquist's dummy, my own mouth started to quirk up.
"Hey", the photographer protested, with sudden foreboding, "you look like you're going to cry."
I couldn't stop.