Sold ten “Cheesesteak”‘s, (plus a “Best Ride” and an “Outrageous.”) Have now paid for the fellow who formatted me and am working on the printer. One sale was to a middle-aged stranger, who came up to my table at the French, looked at my display, and said, “I admire your guts.” Further conversation revealed he was an attorney from upstate New York, who’d once lost “a bundle” operating a no-alcohol club for beginner rock bands to show them they could make a go of it without a recording contract. He also’d been involved in the formation of a town of primarily Yiddish speaking Hasidic Jews, which has the youngest median age — and highest poverty rate– of any municipality in the country. The first fact had made me want to hear more from him, the second not-so-much.
One acquaintance rebuffed my pitch, saying he only read books about Nazis, preferably with swastikas on the cover. One purchaser said she would read “Cheesesteak” as soon as she finished all seven volumes of “In Search of Lost Time, which, Kindle informed her, she was 54% through. (Well, I thought, our works are similar, except Proust began with a madeleine.) One came up to my table and said, “Where’s the refund window? I thought it said ‘Cheesecake.’ I was expecting racy pictures. Like a trim ankle, at least.” One freebie-recipient revealed her first affair had been with Jim Kweskin (p. 69) and that she’d once utilized the services (unrelated to Mr. K.) of the abortionist mentioned on p. 79. Neither of these revelations had occurred in any of our every-few-years conversations of the past five decades.
All in all, I am consolidating my self-possession around what I am doing. I sit up in my chair, take in the world, and think, This is who I am. It feels more rewarding than occupying myself with thoughts of Donald Trump or the Warriors.