Mike and his cousin, Salvatore “Sally-Boy” Boccanera are born one minute apart, in the same hospital, and it seems like they’ll never be more than a minute apart the rest of their lives.
Their experiences knocking around the city are challenging, funny, touching, and at times disturbing—all of the ingredients that define growing up.
Life lessons happen in the Italian bakery Sally-Boy’s father owns, where the boys loll and play, with ears and eyes wide open. But maybe the biggest lesson of all looms over Mike’s father, who’s determined to make drastic changes in pursuit of a better life.
Hanging in the balance, at the center of the boys’ tumultuous lives, is the fire escape. It’s a place that is uniquely theirs, and Mike best describes its spell, recalling how it reeks in the rain, blisters in the sun, and ices over in the snow. It’s where he and Sally-Boy talk and think and philosophize and plot and try to understand all they can about themselves and the world.