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 now and then the resistance decreases. One day during the January of my senior year in high school, the stuff things were made of unexpectedly softened and began to flow in unpredictable directions.
At the time when it started to happen, 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 the pressure of unsatisfied desire. The girls I knew at school apparently thought that getting good grades meant I shouldn’t have the same needs they and their boyfriends struggled over – but I made a hell of a confidant. I had had years of practice at tha...