Imagine for a minute. You are five years old (or nine or 17). You go to school, but not every day. In fact, not a lot of days because you don’t wake up in time and you miss your ride. Most days you don’t eat breakfast, or if you do it is a Pop Tart straight out of the box and maybe some milk if there is any in the refrigerator. You sleep in the same sheets for weeks at a time and wear the same clothes day after day.

You hardly ever take a shower or a bath. You haven’t learned to brush your teeth. Lunch might be a jelly sandwich you fix yourself and supper is a couple of cold hot dogs. Cockroaches run rampant in the house, across the kitchen counter and climb out of the stacks of dirty dishes. Your mother and her latest boyfriend are stoned most of the time.

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