Good Instincts

by Diana Reed

As an infant, she slept sprawled across the crib, sure to wake in minutes when a passing car set off her startle reflex. Two years later, running on unsteady feet, she learned to throw her hands forward to break each fall. At sixteen, she swung the wheel far enough to the right when the car loomed into her lane. One night after lecture, she knew to say goodbye at the door to the good-looking guy with the too-needy eyes. Now forty, she finally indulged her personality freely, without diluting words for polite company. At seventy, after the diagnosis, she threw a party, then signed the DNR.

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Diana Reed lives and writes around Chicago.