Friday, July 26, 2013

Memorizing You

"Memorizing You" by Dan Skinner

An Answered Prayer

Highly Recommended

So, usually I start with a recap so you get a taste of what the book feels like. Then I tell you what worked and didn’t work, and what touched me. Forgive me if I break a little from my usual style. This book has me all over the place, in a good way.

David is a regular kind of guy, and Ryan is a jock. They are both in high school in the sixties, when being gay was just not okay. They meet, the become friends, then more. Then life and hate and the times tear them apart. Life goes on. People move on. And yet…

Now here’s the beautiful sadness that grabbed me in the darkest and most hopeful and cynical places in my soul—life never takes you quite where you think it will. Yes, we are caught in the hurricane, but sometimes, just sometimes, it drops you in the most unexpected places. Sometimes, even after forty years, you look up and holy hell, there’s your second chance.

I don’t want to spoil anything for you as you read this incredible book. Dan Skinner, God bless him, has created characters that I know, that I lived with, played with, grew up with, loved, lost, cried over and still love. These are the people of my past. This story is mine, and probably in a lot of ways, Dan’s. Gay men of a certain age (and doesn’t that sound haughty, and is a simple way of saying, fifty-ish) have a very different experience of coming to terms with their homosexuality. It might be difficult now, but for those of us who discovered that part of ourselves in the sixties and seventies (and early eighties) lived a different life.

Here’s the thing, and I’m sorry I’m all over the place here. This book is a must read. It’s love, life, loss and joy, pain, sadness and…I am almost lost for words.

The lessons here? Life is bittersweet, take your happiness a day at a time, and hope is a fickle bitch that surprises you when you least expect it. It might take forty years, but sometimes, God gives you back that which you never thought you would see or feel or hold again.

What a gift.

Read this book. It’s a prayer answered.