Excerpted from THE ADULTS by Alison Espach. Copyright © 2011 by Alison Espach.  Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


They arrived in bulk, in Black Tie Preferred, in one large clump behind our wooden fence, peering over each other’s shoulders and into our backyard like people at the zoo who wanted a better view of the animals.

My father’s fiftieth birthday party had just begun.

Um, aren’t you a little young?

I’m twenty-six.  Why do I feel like you are expecting me to apologize for this?   There will be no apologies.  All I can do about it is slowly, day by day, age.  I’m sure when I’m sixty I will look back at my twenty-six-year-old self and reflect upon how idiotic I was, but for now, my defense is that I’ve been writing since I was five, and I don’t think there is anything else I’ve been doing since I was five, besides eating and bothering my parents and brushing my teeth, so in that way, I do feel like I was ready.