“I write every day. It is not a burden. It is the way I live.”
Pete, as I was forced to call him on the phone—I never could wrap my mind around his actual name, privately referring to him as PFSlider, “e-mail guy” or even “baseball boy”—began calling me two or three times a week. He asked if he could meet me in person and I said that would be okay. Christmas was a few weeks away, and he would be returning east to see his family. From there, he would take the short flight to New York and have lunch with me. “It is my off-season mission to meet you,” he said. “There will probably be a snowstorm,” I said. “I’ll bring a team of sled dogs,” he answered. We talked about our work and our families, about baseball and Bill Clinton and Howard Stern and sex, about his hatred for Los Angeles and how much he wanted a new job. Other times we would find each other logged on to America Online at the same time and type back and forth for hours. For me, this was far superior to the phone. Through typos and misspellings, he flirted maniacally. “I have an absurd crush on you,” he said. “If I like you in person you must promise to marry me.” I was coy and conceited, telling him to get a life, baiting him into complimenting me further, teasing him in a way I would never have dared in the real world or even on the phone. I would stay up until 3:00 A.M. typing with him, smiling at the screen, getting so giddy that I couldn’t fall asleep. I was having difficulty recalling what I used to do at night. My phone was tied up for hours at a time. No one in the real world could reach me, and I didn’t really care.
"These passages, which I’m about to read, take place in the System Theater on Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal, which some of you may know, it is threatened by an office development. And I’m the Chairman of a committee, called S.O.S. Save System.” —Leonard Cohen reading at 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center on February 14, 1966.
Pico Iyer writes about this recording for 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center’s 75 at 75 series. 75 at 75 invites authors to listen to a recording from our archive and write a personal response. Read Pico’s piece and others, on 92Y On Demand.
Nouvella is killing it with these #LiteraryComeOns. They’re also running Blind Date with a Novella to hook you up with a book this Valentine’s Day.
[W]hether it’s for sex or just for meeting people, maybe Tinder will be the app for the never-ending present, for the idea of one’s life not as culminating in a happy ending but a long series of encounters, sexual or otherwise. When I watched the founders of Tinder giving interviews, every reporter they spoke with seemed to ask how many marriages had resulted. After talking to people about their experiences, I realize that to think about marriage is to completely miss the point of Tinder. The app is about the world around you, the people in your immediate vicinity, and the desires of a particular moment.