David is a teenage boy who lives his life in insecurity and shadows. He has no friends. He is not popular at school. And he has mixed feelings when it comes to his sexual awakening. He doesn’t understand why he cannot feel what the other boys feel when it comes to girls. On the contrary, when he sits on his own little spot on the bleachers, watching the school team practise, and notices one of the jocks on the other side of the field waving at him, it gives him a feeling that is strange but not entirely uncomfortable.
Ryan is the all-american boy. The school team’s quarterback. Prepped for a football scholarship. For every father the perfect son. For every mother the perfect son-in-law. But Ryan has feelings he cannot share with the rest of the world. Feelings that set him apart from his teammates, without them knowing it. Ryan is gay. By big coincident David and Ryan meet and against all odds they become friends. More and more time they spend together. Taking care of the huge garden of Ryan’s parents, meeting early mornings for long runs. And during one of those times Ryan opens up and confesses his real nature to David. It still takes some time for David to be able to accept his own sexuality, but when he does, his friendship with Ryan becomes deeper than both boys could have imagined. Eventually transforming into an intense and mature love relationship.
The year is 1967 and the world is subject to new ways of thinking, new political directions and a freedom of spirit as never before. Still the two boys have to live in secret while they would love to scream it from the roofs. They found love but why can’t they share it. Why is it so hard for others to accept. To understand? It takes all of David’s and Ryan’s strength to withstand the averse of their surroundings, to live a life that includes each other in ways others cannot get. Young as they are David and Ryan manage with the support of some to live their individual lives while at the same time enjoy their times together and prepare for a future with each other. Young as they are they feel they can change the world, simply by pushing and forcing others to see what they refuse to accept. Young as they are they do not realize that one can push too hard.
Dan Skinner, photographer and author, has written the story of David and Ryan. A story of insecurity, of self-discovery and of a love that is meant to conquer everything else. Memorizing You is a novel about a homosexual love relationship but it is much more than a gay love story. Though placed in the late 1960’s, the story could easily have taken place in our current time. It is a chronicle that tells about love and acceptance. Of hardship and survival. But most of all of humanity and tolerance. Memorizing You is written with the purpose to open peoples eyes to relationships they can possibly not see as normal, simply because they don’t understand it. It’s as much about self discovery and tolerance as it is about accepting equality and humans for what they are. I can speak of experience that memorizing. You is a novel that, once you start, you won’t be able to put aside. A story that will make you laugh as well as cry, literally. Because no matter what the subject, it is most of all a story that everyone, gay or straight, can relate to and recognize. Therefore, Memorizing You is a book you must read. –BM-
Memorizing You by Dan Skinner is a 292 pages novel, available in both print and e-book version. Memorizing You is published by Cerberus Inc. and can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Allromancebooks and other online book stores.
DAN SKINNER | BEAUTIFULMAG
MEMORIZING YOU | BEAUTIFULMAG