My name is China. Like the country and its people and the girl Bowie sings about. China like the expensive dishes and the flawless baby beauty doll. China like dreams and meat and steam and me.

I changed my name to China three years after I met Rye. The night we met he called me his China Girl and it caught on. We met at a party in Õ86, my best friend RubyÕs birthday party. I was sixteen years old, and in love with music, drugs, and alcohol. I was sitting on RubyÕs couch in a short skirt with crimped hair and a cigarette. Rye sat down next to me, and handed me a beer. He was a year older. And much more worldly because he had moved to our town from Toronto. He taught me about people like Lou Reed and Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. He taught me that if you mixed pills and alcohol it was better than either one by itself. He taught me how to kiss. I mean really kiss. And he taught me how to play guitar. And how to be completely and ridiculously in love with someone.

But a year later RyeÕs family moved back to the city. A week after I found out I was pregnant. For a while I would imagine his voice on the telephone. Saying he missed me and wanted to spend his life with our baby and me. But Rye never called.

I lay on RubyÕs couch where Rye and I had first met. My head cradled in her lap, my mascara staining her cutoff jeans. She ran her fingers through my hair, touching my face with her fingertips, dragging my tears along my cheeks in a swirly pattern.

ÒYou going to have a girl?Ó she asked. I nodded. IÕd wanted a girl ever since I could remember. Even if she was coming a decade too soon.

I moved into RubyÕs house a week later. I told my mother the news and she told me to get rid of it or leave. My father just squeezed my hand as I left with suitcases full of clothes and makeup and records and sketchbooks.

I dropped out of school after six months. Sat around RubyÕs large suburban home watching daytime television and trying to eat healthy in the junk-food wasteland. If my mother taught me anything she taught me the importance of being healthy. I stopped drinking too. And smoking. The pictures of the deformed babies on the back of the cigarette packages scared me. At night I had nightmares about bloody fetuses being pried from between my legs. They always had too many limbs, or eyes like giant flies. Or tiny horned wings and prickly scabbed skin.

I decided to name my baby Lucy Raine Sax. My own last name. Lucy after my grandmother, who died when I was six. Raine because she was conceived in the rain. I decided never to tell her this, but a small portion of her name should have something to do with her father. Even if he was finished with her and me. Me and my cupid baby girl.

I thought about her all the time. As my body swelled I drew her. Sketching her with blond hair like mine. Chubby cheeks, and heart shaped baby lips.

But when I gave birth to my baby girl angel nothing was as expected. It was a C-section. I protested, selfishly - dreading the years after. I wanted to be invisible of my baby if I felt like it, not wanting to have to bare a scar when I wore my bikini.

But there never was a Lucy Raine Sax.

There was a Dewitt. A Dewitt Rain Sax. With big green eyes and messy brown hair and a smile exactly like his fatherÕs.