This is the first direct account of my relationship with Amy. Awkward, adolescent, naive in its writing and tone, the story
is woven through with longing, sentimental impulses, accounts of banal events and profound ones, treated equally. I wrote it in the spring of
1965, following events in winter, but in advance of the deep and long involvement that would begin in the following fall. At the time I wrote this, I thought our friendship
had peaked, and that the brief, intense, connection we had shared would be the sum total of what passed between us. The manuscript was written
in that mood, full of sadness, registering loss, pervaded by ennui and a sense of the impossibility of our ever connecting again.
I was thirteen years old when I was writing this. Almost a year had passed since Amy moved into the house across the
street. I had been through torments of longing this year, wanting her friendship, her affection,
her approval. I believed she was the friend I had always wanted. But I could not get her to engage with me beyond the
one incredible bonding experience we shared on the day after Thanksgiving, 1964. I had knocked on her door, taking a chance in the chill afternoon that she
might let me in. She did, and we sat in her
parents' livingroom as it got dark, hypnotized by the streetlight shining off something in the carpet in
the gathering twlight. The bright spot of light hypnotized us, and we let the moments extend, darkness wrapping itself around
us as we sat. We talked and talked, into a level of intimacy I had never experienced. The back and forth of exchange was intense and
genuine. I felt I had found perceiving sentience, an awareness, to meet my own. When the spell broke, I left, and we said
goodbye in the dark, at her front door. But the room and that moment remained as a point of reference between us, the "day after Thanksgiving,"
a touchstone phrase.
In this manuscript, I wrote about that experience, and about what followed. For a brief and very intense period after that Thanksgiving
event, we played out characters in a "plot." This was improvisational engagement, a role-playing game that Amy and her cousin Robin had invented. Amy
shared the game with me, letting me into the world of imagination in which all kinds of permission could be granted. In a very short span of
time, November and December, we did an improvised plot together. Based on my understanding of what
Amy had described to us the summer before, I had already taken up plotting with Diane, my friend down the street, my Amy surrogate.
But in the
winter of 1964, Amy and I shared a "plot" together. I thought that a world of magical intensity had opened to me. Our plot was an excuse for intimacy, for erotic and emotional connection.
But it was brief,
and Amy broke our relationship very quickly, busy with her high shool friends. I was two years younger,
though I would be in the same school the following year, for that first year the gulf between us was too broad.
I was deeply hurt by the rejection. So I wrote this story as a direct account of what happened, of the
psycho-social dynamics that went on among us–Amy, Diane and others, of our infatuation with the Beatles, of our private dramas
and my own sadness within an intense self-awareness. I loved Amy, and did not know
what she would think of the manuscript, which was not like anything else I had ever written. Gone were the
fictions of the year before, or even recent ones, and in their place, this childish but genuine account of my frustrated attempts at courting her,
of my persistent desires, longings, and sadness at not being able to go on being her friend. More of an elegy for the relationship than a
love-letter, the text was written to hold on to the lost relationship at a moment when it seemed completely gone. But the final lines on the page
say so much, the attachment to writing so clear even in struggling with its futility, "Sometimes I wonder about the endless writing, the
brown notebooks, then I remember they are so that I do not forget. Then I wonder why."