Never Let You Go
One thing you can’t help learning about life is that most of the time it puts up a lot of resistance, as if you were trying to write a passionate love letter with a pen dipped in molasses. And yet every once in a while the resistance decreases. It did that from one day to the next during the January of my senior year in high school—the stuff things were made of softened and began to flow in unpredictable directions.
At the time, I was listening to Ray Charles and John Coltrane every chance I got, I liked to read Dostoyevsky late at night, and I felt as though my balls might crack from internal pressure. The girls I knew at school seemed to think that getting good grades meant I shouldn’t want what their boyfriends wanted—but I made a hell of a confidant. If I couldn’t have a love life with them, at least they could tell me the truth about the ones they had. I had years of practice at that, with Toni Anastos, Claire Joseph—who once was my girlfriend, not for long enough—and more recently with Becca Shulman. I spent at least half an hour every evening on the phone with one or another of them; we squeezed the day ruthlessly for every drop of meaning. It would have thrilled Mr. Kearns, the AP English teacher, if only we’d been doing it to Shakespeare. Those were conversations I couldn’t have with boys, other than my best friend Dal, because if I tried to have them, all I got were variations on “Didja get to second base?”
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- American fiction
- Love stories