I wonder if Hemingway cares that About Books is wishing him a belated happy birthday.
He strikes me as the sort of man who would stare frostily, preoccupied, and say ‘Thanks.’ Yes, his love of word economy would consider a ‘thank you’ too superfluous.
As a ghost, I am afraid at how little he might speak.
Mark Twain on the other hand would have been disparaging and sharp. I’m sure he would have written a biting essay on how Satan makes us forget because it’s one more way to thwart God.
I tell myself that I would like to date a parsimonious talker.
It would make me feel special when he writes out a message that is long, respectful, replete with useful links to a few long reads sites that he believes I will appreciate.
He would wait for no response.
I wouldn’t have to plan on what to say to such a man.
We would have long months of companionable silences.
I would hug friends on the street, flirt with men I work with, and go on solo holidays where I will dream about having his presence in the hotel room.
An ipad charging on his side of the bed, the lingering spice from his aftershave in the bathroom.
I would spend my life unconcerned and wrinkle free at the lack of drama he brings me.
If I wished him a happy birthday on his birthday, he would merely nod.
There would be no hullabaloo over his favourite book – first edition, and leather bound – that I begged friends in the UK to source for me.
We might have a quiet dinner and maybe a glass of wine and that would be that.
He would even tersely grunt his pleasure after.
Or there would be no words.
Now that I am older, I wouldn’t ask for any either.
The trail of wetness speaks its own tale, what need are words to mature lovers like us?
I would kiss his penis and he would draw his mind back from the Israeli problem.
And that would be that.
Yes, I decide, the silent, brooding, preoccupied types is what I want to date.
Only I won’t have him if he loves Hemingway.