A crumby love story


“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

J.D. was my first love.

I’d flirted a little with Ray. William S. was the one parents recommended, and he seemed stuffy in comparison. Charles was an old friend, nothing more.

The battered collection

The battered collection, minus one on permanent loan.

At 14, I’d never been properly introduced to Earnest. William F. was too dour, and Kurt wouldn’t come until later.

J.D. was different. Banned in serious circles and nearly all school libraries, he came into my life through the wisdom of a teacher and a permission slip. And for a brief time, I was entranced.

We sat alone, late at night, when the house was hushed and the only light could be seen filtering under my bedroom door. I traced many a line under his words, wanting to digest everything and smiling at perceived secrets and comical moments.

I never really outgrew J.D. But the relationship ran its course – there were others to meet, others to revere and explore. There would be other loves.

But every so often, I’ll take those memories off the shelf and rediscover the pencil marks. The guy still knows me pretty well.

“I live alone (but catless, I’d like everybody to know).”

– Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction


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