We were entering New York City now, via some highway that cut across the Bronx. Unfamiliar territory for me. I am a Manhattan boy; I know only the subways. Can’t even drive a car. Highways, autos, gas stations, tollbooths—artifacts out of a civilization with which I’ve had only the most peripheral contact. In high school, watching the kids from the suburbs pouring into the city on weekend dates, all of them driving, with golden-haired shikses next to them on the seat: not my world, not my world at all. Yet they were only sixteen, seventeen years old, the same as I. They seemed like demigods to me. They cruised the Strip from nine o’clock to half past one, then drove back to Larchmont, to Lawrence, to Upper Montclair, parking on some tranquil leafy street, scrambling with their dates into the back seat, white thighs flashing in the moonlight, the panties coming down, the zipper opening, the quick thrust, the grunts and groans. Whereas I was riding the subways, West Side I.R.T. That makes a difference in your sexual development. You can’t ball a girl in the subway. What about doing it standing up in an elevator, rising to the fifteenth floor on Riverside Drive? What about making it on the tarry roof of an apartment house, 250 feet above West End Avenue, bulling your way to climax while pigeons strut around you, criticizing your technique and clucking about the pimple on your ass? It’s another kind of life, growing up in Manhattan. Full of shortcomings and inconve-niences that wreck your adolescence. Whereas the lanky lads with the cars can frolic in four-wheeled motels. Of course, we who put up with the urban drawbacks develop compensating complexities. We have richer, more interesting souls, force-fed by adversity. I always separate the drivers from the nondrivers in drawing up my categories of people. The Olivers and the Timothys on the one hand, the Elis on the other. By rights Ned belongs with me, among the nondrivers, the thinkers, the bookish introverted tormented deprived subway riders. But he has a driver’s license. Yet one more example of his perverted nature.