Sold an “I Will Keep You Alive” to a basketball buddy after a work-out and a (tax deductible) lunch.
And another Mended Hearts chapter president – that’s three out of about 200 – says he’s bought one.
As did a cousin, who said she’d been resisting it because she’s had enough medical issues to deal with.
No books sold at the café, but a white-haired guy in t-shirt and khakis took in the cover and asked if I knew Ram Dass, and a woman with short curly grey hair said about the title, “That’s quite funny.”
“What?” I said, not having received that reaction before.
“You don’t want to know,” she said.
More gratifying was the e-mail from a medical social worker who comes in once in a while. “Books this honest,” she wrote, “are like a rung on a ladder. When I have to climb out of an emergency, I’ll have the strength of your honesty under my hand.”
Now that was special.
The most engaging conversationalist I’ll call “Ed,” a round-faced octogenarian, sporting a goatee and newsboy’s cap. He was an abstract painter, with roots in the Cedar Tavern, and stories involving Franz Kline and both de Koonings. His 91-year-old wife – make that his “woman” – a writer/singer/actress, had been in the Party with Paul Robeson. We went back and forth about the difficulties of being an artist these days. “All the galleries are closed,” he said. “The stores are closed. All the bars are closed. I know working people walking home sober.”
“You ought to write your memoirs,” I said.
“The last thing I rote,” he said, “was ‘Dear Mom, I still don’t have a job.’”