2009. The summer of love for Stalker and me.
In May, Stalker had attended his 40th high school reunion, at the Bronx HS of Science. No, I wasn’t there. I had graduated a year after he did. But I saw the reunion postings on Facebook and egroups, and I wanted to know what had happened to another old friend from high school, Simon, whose last letter I had never answered. I ached to write him, to say I was sorry for never answering that letter 30 years ago. I posted on Facebook, everywhere, looking for information. Someone passed the inquiry on to Stalker, Simon’s best friend in high school.
Stalker emailed me. I emailed back with my phone number; if Simon were dead, I would rather hear it by phone than an email. Stalker phoned. Simon was alive. “But you don’t want to look for him anymore,” said Stalker. “He is in a place we do not want to go to.”
Stalker sang. He told jokes. He read me stories he wrote about high school. I laughed and thought him brilliant. “Do you like my voice?” Oh yes, a great voice. After two days, he called again. He announced his goals in life. “Stalker wants to get married and have children.” Daily emails, daily phone calls. On the fourth day, he said he loved me. I said I loved him, too. I love my friends. On the fifth day, he emailed he wanted to be married. I wrote back, “If I married you, my Orthodox Jewish relatives would disown me.”
Not that that would necessarily stop me, I thought to myself.
Stalker asked, “What if I converted?”
You know I can’t have children at my age, I reminded him.
“Surrogate,” Stalker said. “You have $50,000?” Stalker so funny!
I don’t want children.
“I want nine. I always wanted my own baseball team. Will you come to New York, or will I come to Portland? We are too old to wait long,” said Stalker. “What do I do to convert?”
I almost thought he was serious.
“Now,” said Stalker. I have some questions. I will send them to you and you will write me essays. I want to know everything about you.”
An email had the first five essay assignments. No one had ever asked me such questions.
. . . to be continued