After a brief overview of Burroughs' life as a child, the memoir talks about his adolescent years beginning at the age of twelve. When he was younger, Augusten enjoyed shiny things, such as mirrors and jewelry. He had this peculiar fascination with polishing every coin and piece of jewelry he was able to get his hands on. He absolutely loved doctors and visiting them. He imagined himself becoming one, not to heal the people of the world, but to wear the pristine white coat and being able to have his own parking spot.
"As time went on, my parents' relationship became worse, not better. My father grew more hostile and remote, taking a particular liking to metallic objects and serrated edges. And my mother began to go crazy.
Not crazy like in a let's paint the kitchen bright red! sort of way. But crazy as in gas oven, toothpaste sandwhich, I am God sort of way. Gone were the days when she would stand on the deck lighting lemon-scented candles without then having to eat the wax." (30)
"But she did love him. I believe it. I know exactly how that is. To love somebody who doesn't deserve it. Because they are all you have. Because any attention is better than no attention." (148)