Philip Galanes has fashioned a novel both bleak and funny about a young man's struggle to sort out his troubled love: the too-strong love for his mother, the too-weak love for his suicidal father, and the all-consuming love of anonymous sexual encounters. Pointed and acute, this story tells of the narrator's many betrayals of others and their many betrayals of him. It exists in an uncomfortable moral space where the humor of terrible things sometimes outweighs, but never obscures, their poignancy.
If really good people who are deeply committed and who are thriving spiritually have to beat down the nature with which they seem to have been born and cut themselves off from the full realization of love, how can that be pleasing to God?
Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don't believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it's good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.
When I remember how unhappy I was in adolescence - about the fact that, though I wasn't really using the term to or for myself, I knew that I was gay - I think, "Oh, if someone then could have shown me just an hour in the life that I have now, I would have made it through all of that misery and despair just fine." The pain lay in thinking that I had a desolate future.