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Even at the age of seven I wanted to show some skin. We lived in Los Angeles, and my highbrow hippie parents had enrolled me in a tiny, rustic school nestled deep in Topanga Canyon, with horses and a two-story tree house where art classes were sometimes held. Maybe it was the freedom encouraged by our beachy lifestyle, or the shining thong-clad butt cheeks of rollerblading Santa Monica women, or the way Ariel looked when she hoisted herself up onto the rock, chest heaving, bright red hair wet against her stomach—but there was something out there that I wanted in on. Something powerful.

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"Skin" was originally published at Booth.