Lookit-- my wife Olga says you learn on your skin and it’s true-- life has inflicted chastisement on my back with the rigor that a dullard requires. An Impressionable Age is about easy lessons I learned the hard way when, as a 20-year-old teacher at a private school for emotionally disturbed inner city kids, I become involved in something bigger and nobler than anything that came after. It ended two years later when I raised myself too high. I defended what was mine without calculating the price my skin would have to pay and men wearing expensive cologne and custom-tailored suits, big men whose obituaries would appear in The New York Times, took it all away from me.
I worked hard at inventing myself as a man I came to like, only to have to tear down my work and start over, but this isn’t a coming-of-ager. I was young for my age, but tender years and naïveté didn’t have a lot to do with the choices I made; they just make the sweet parts sweeter and the low parts tougher.
I open with the Cute Meet by knocking on a door—the wrong door—and end by closing another door. Valerie Soroko is behind both doors, but that knock is the inciting moment of my life. The spawning instinct ran me during my Valerie years and she’ll be the most important person in my life for the remainder of my youth, though this isn’t a romance, either.
There's an energy and freshness of voice that makes my ears perk up here.
There's certainly a sense of conflict, although no specifics.
This certainly isn't the "usual" form, but it works for me.