The closest was the fellow who showed interest in my books (“You wrote these?”) but seemed challenged to come up with enough for a cup of coffee.
Then there was the 80-something ex-therapist who said he’d buy “I Will Keep You Alive” once he’d read his stack of other books and “New Yorkers” and sections of the “New York Times’ “if I am still around.”
I know the feeling.
In other news…
1.) The painter/teacher (See previous “Adventure”) e-mailed he “LOVED” “Cheesesteak.”
2.) A woman at the health club told Adele her husband enjoyed IWKYA so much he read portions of it to her aloud. (Who he is and how he got it is unknown.)
3.) My tcj.com piece about Casanova Frankenstein drew limited but high quality – two fine novelists, two edgy cartoonists – praise.
Sometimes, when I ask myself why I continue writing, I recall the Iranian woman who told me that the Koran instructs our full measure is only taken when the Book of Life has closed on the last of us. With the Internet, you can be regularly surprised by whom a ripple you have cast has reached. Some decades ago, I wrote a piece about a B-movie actress of the 1950s, and since then I have regularly heard from others, including her nephew, who Googled her name.
One of these, a woman in Georgia, sent me links to films in which the actress appeared besides the one which had interested me. We remained in correspondence for a year or two until she fell silent, and I learned little about her, except that she wrote e-books for the Christian bondage market.
This week she sent me an e-mail which stated she was unemployed, hoped to begin a state-run job training program but until then was asking all her friends to Pay Pal her $1.
This request stabbed my heart.
“Why,” I asked, “$1?”
“Because,” she replied, “to most people it’s trivial. But to me it seems something.”
I doubt it meant more to her than this exchange meant to me.