I wanted to write a love story and also the chronicle of a deep, cold danger, but I couldn’t seem to find my way in. This book really started for me with the boys vantage. I thought of it as a door open only one small wedge. I wanted to limit the love story, to set it within a family, within a greater life and among people for whom the main concern was not the lovers happiness.
Its a mystery and its also my attempt at a love story. Maybe love stories are all mysteries. But at the same time that the book is about love, its also about watching love, seeing signs and scraps of it and learning to recognize its force, that it exists and that you cant control it, that it could hurt you, before its even a possibility that you might find it for yourself. Before any of its pleasures are available to you. In my life, Ive been the person watching lovers more than Ive been one of the lovers myself. Does everyone feel that way? That we watch love? That we aren’t usually the lovers ourselves? (Maybe thats why love feels like a mandate when its finally your turn.)
I have a boy, a love of a boy, and though in the plot and characterizations of this novel hes not represented, Ive used his lingo, the diction and slang he shared with his friends, their games of choice. The boy Ive created is a mothers fantasy. Only a mother could dream up a boy who is obsessed with his parents. I needed a filter for the love story and I wanted a fairly naive one. We have all kinds of cultural assumptions: People get hurt. Its no ones fault. He or she is a grownup. I wanted someone young enough and uncool enough to emit a gigantic roar of WAH when he feels pain.