A time of suicides, gymnasium humiliations, smoking for beginners, asthma attacks, and incendiary teenage infatuations.
Infatuations with a girl (Allison), with a band (The Smiths) and with an album, Meat is Murder, that was so raw, so vivid and so melodic that you could cling to it like a lifeboat in a storm.
Excerpt One morning as I was jogging my way past the bronze plaque commemorating the deaths of one student and one motorcyclist, my necktie flapping like a windsock, Ray floored the brake pedal of his Dodge as he closed in on me.
Fifty mile an hour traffic came to a screeching, nearly murderous halt behind him.
In the gutter, sugared with sand put down during the winter s last snow, I saw written in red felt ink on masking tape stuck to a smoky-clear cassette: Smiths: Meat.