What makes us who we are? Is it life’s big milestones that propel us from childhood to adulthood? Or are we made of all the little memories that have a way of standing in for so much more?
A friend’s itchy chin might be how you remember him. A pair of worn corduroys might be what you remember of your first love. A green-eyed boy on a subway platform might be how you remember a breakthrough. A coffee cup in a blizzard might be how you remember your best friend. The sound of a dial-up modem connecting. The wet stems of lily pads in your dad’s hands. A spiral of hairs on a cheek. The outline of keys in a pocket. Blue paint under fingernails. Fireworks on a summer night. These details are like pulses, like heartbeat spikes on the cardiac line of memory.
In the twelve stories in THE YOUTH & YOUNG LOVES OF OLIVER WADE, Ben Monopoli shows us these pulses in the life of our narrator Ollie as he grows from age thirteen to twenty-eight. Pulses that define who Ollie is, and ultimately who he’ll become.
A stand-alone companion to THE PAINTING OF PORCUPINE CITY and THE CRANBERRY HUSH.