I finished the book and because I was sad that there were no pages, I read the acknowledgments. There, in the fourth paragraph, a name: the boy who broke my heart in my youth, who sent me crying to my pillow countless nights, whose love I couldn’t hold. This boy who made me realize that life before him was all Barbies on the floor, that love was real but not forever, and when it ended, it hurt. I could see him in a Powderhorn Mountaineering ski vest and painter’s pants. Broad-shouldered, golden-haired, laughing with crinkly eyes. That boy. He had grown up to become an anatomy professor in Eugene, Oregon, and there was his name, in the back of this heartbreaking book.
When young, we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall.