The kind you’re born with, the kind you choose, the kind that teach Catholic school
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John McNally’s most recent book is Vivid and Continuous: Essays and Exercises for Writing Fiction. He is Writer-in-Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and lives with a very old dog, an embarrassing number of cats, and a decent collection of old R & B albums.
In 1976, the year we were supposed to be learning the metric system, we fell in love with Katy Muldoon. We were in the sixth grade, and Katy sat at the front of our math class, raising her hand for every question, as though all of the answers to all of the problems were merely floating in front of her eyes.
We were standing at the edge of the blacktop at Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Grade School, as far away from the recess monitor as we could get. It was 1978, and we were in eighth grade — though Ralph would have been in high school already if he hadn’t failed both the third and the fifth grades.