This week I got drunk and decided to send emails. I can’t be held responsible for what I do when I’m drunk. If anything, I consider the moron who occupies my body when I’m drunk to be an entirely different person to myself. I call him Drunk Paul. He’s sort of like my Tyler Durden, although he’s not played by Brad Pitt and he doesn’t blow stuff up, or at least not in the literal sense.
I recently read a book called Name The Baby by Mark Cirino. If you haven’t read it then I thoroughly recommend you do. I’ve seen it described as a modern Catcher In The Rye but don’t take that comment to heart, it has a life of its own. The story follows a narrator through a traumatic couple of days in New York City and New Jersey. If you like your protaganists jaded and cynical then step right this way. It’s rare that a book grabs me quite as much as this did and I took it upon myself to do some amateur sleuthing and find some more out about this Cirino fellow. More than anything I wanted to find out if he had written anything else. When I get into an artist, be they writer, director, musician or mime, I tend to gorge. I get good and bloated on what they’ve got out there. It’s hard to do that with Cirino. My research shows he has written two other books, Ernest Hemingway: Thought In Action and Arizona Blues. The former is an analysis of Papa H’s work, the latter I could only find in German. Mark Cirino is now a faculty member at the University of Evansville. This meant, he had an email address listed on their website.
After doing away with half a bottle of whiskey I decided I should contact him. I wanted to thank him for writing something that had connected with me so personally and also to try and track down a copy of Arizona Blues that wasn’t in German. I hammered off an email which I hope reflected those dizzy sentiments and then waited. I didn’t know if I should expect a response or how many people tried stuff like this. It wasn’t something I had ever considered but my friend Steph told me she always takes the time to write to authors when she finishes their books.
Two days later I got an email from the man himself. He thanked me for taking the time to contact him and told me “a prophet is recognized everywhere but in his own country”. I still want to read Arizona Blues and can’t face learning German (I tried and gave up in school) so am open to suggestions.
I guess the lesson here is that if you enjoy something, let the other person know. I don’t care if that’s a book or an album, a performance, a dance, a fuck, whatever. We should all be kinder and more appreciative to one another. There’s something incredible in that. I’m glad I took the time to send Dr Cirino that email and I’m blindsided and chuffed that he took the time to respond. I hope in some way it connected with him like his work has done with me.