He was a Cosmo Bachelor-of-the-Month. My friend, M., had snagged a date with one of those men featured by Cosmo magazine. He was a surgeon and he’d picked her letter out of hundreds.
The night of their date was the same night M., I, and our undergrad had planned to go see Toni Morrison speak. M. and I were in grad school and we’d been assigned undergrad English major to mentor. We’d all read Beloved and couldn’t wait to see Morrison in person.
The Cosmo bachelor agreed to come with us. He was only in town for a convention. He really lived in New York. M. agreed to drive, and so we picked him up at the very posh hotel, and he wasn’t in the SUV for more than five minutes when he took out his pot.
“You don’t mind, do you?”
I was a 23-year-old grad student, sitting next to a 19-year-old undergrad, on the way to see a Nobel Prize winner on Halloween night, my 28-year-old friend driving. I’d never smoked pot in my life. I shrugged.
M. said, “You’re a surgeon.”
He laughed. He was 40. “Yeah,” he said. “It relaxes me. Want any?”
We all said no. I don’t think he had the night he was hoping for.
Sometimes you read all these great things about a writer–they went to the right workshop, they know the right people, and they look good too. This literary magazine or other told you how amazing they were. Then you take their book out for a night, and it is not a book you’d ever want to kiss.
So. What great and wonderful writer did you finally get together with only to be left cold? What are people making such a fuss about? Why is a book chosen to be the book-of-the-month anyway?