None of the three people mentioned in last week’s adventure have reappeared. It is like expressing interest in my books is grounds for deportation by alien invaders.
But another brave fellow picked up a “Cheesesteak.” He was a very thin and very pale, with red hair and in white shorts and a white t-shirt. He looked about 12 but was studying piano at the Jazz School. I asked who he liked.
“Monk,” he said. “Bud Powell. Horace Silver.”
“Bill Evans?” I said.
“Why do people from the east always like Bill Evans?” he said.
I asked if his parents had been supportive. He said their only advice had been not to become a lawyer because lawyers were only paid by the hour. Well, it seemed they would not to have to worry about that.
He read two chapters while eating a bagel with cream cheese.
In other news…
To promote our forthcoming “I Will Keep You Alive,” Adele and I had sought cover blurbs to honor both its spiritual and medical qualities. Through someone who knew someone who knew someone, we got Ram Dass to satisfy the first. But physicians affiliated with heart care-related foundations would not support a commercial venture, despite the unanimity among literary agents we’d queried that “commerciality” was not its paramount feature, and the best-selling author of non-fiction, who belonged to our health club, said he received too many requests to accept any. Then I tossed a last-minute Hail Mary letter to a similarly successful physician/author, and he offered to read a pdf and consider it. That was unexpected and gracious and – no matter how it turned out – appreciated. So I bought his new book, a gesture I did not extend to Mr. Too-Busy-To-Even-Ask-Your-Name-Or-What-Your-Book’s-About.
Finally, the cartoonist/philosopher J.T. Dockery has written, not only the first review of “The Schiz,” but a semi-overall Levin career assessment. It will be published soon in the fringe-of-the-fringe ‘zine “Pop Wasteland,” whose selections draw from the pens of the enraged, the displaced, the misaligned, those who do not fit or care or tolerate the crap the rest of us do, and who with a bit less luck or talent or bio-chemistry would be like the fellow outside the café at this very moment, bouncing from leg to leg, gesticulating with arm upon arm, screaming at the newspaper racks. Several of these contributors, sensing a sympathetic je ne sais qua in my own writings, have sent me their work to review. Becoming the toast of this town had not been within contemplation when I first walked into Creative Writing 101a 55-years ago, and I look forward to reading what J.T. has to say with renewed appreciation of – and smiles at – the rugs upon which life sets out for us to slip.