02/04/2013 10:50 am ET

The Day My Eating Disorder Was Louder Than Opera

The summer my sister sang with a girl from the local pueblo, I had been starving myself. I was counting out almonds on my palm when Pauline’s name was announced over the crackling loudspeaker. We were seated in a hot tent at the Albuquerque state fair, our places reserved with pieces of notebook paper that said “family of lead soprano” in magic marker.

As the lead soprano in the eleventh grade, my sister had the honor of choosing the penultimate piece for the touring company. Previously she had graced us with a shortened O Mio Babbino Caro and Ach, ich fühl’s. That summer she had chosen a duet, though my mother had screamed and wriggled under the suggestion she share the stage with another student.

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