17 Jul 98

Fact/New Friend

I've met someone. It began over email, one of those innocuous, flirtatious relationships. She's a big fan of this web site and wanted to open up a discussion.

It took me a while to understand where she was coming from, her frustrations.

To look at her, she's some kind of statue. She's built like...well, she's built. She's been having fun in Brooklyn. Cooking, goofing around on my computer. Putting on sunglasses and walking around the neighborhood. It's hard to believe she doesn't mind sleeping in a one-room, but she says it's a break after being on a tour bus.

Ginger Spice can sing, too. She'll cook eggs and toast for breakfast and belt out a song in a clear voice. I join in, do the harmonies. She's asked me to write some songs for her, but I don't know if I can do Top-40 pop right. It's not my strength.

I like looking at her. She's settled into sweats and sneakers while she's visiting, but she can't hide that incredible figure. We don't talk much. The cell phone kept ringing her first night, then she turned the ringer off. "No one needs to know," she said. "And I don't want to get you involved."

I think that's wise; it would make things at work uncomfortable, people would be curious, and while the notoriety might increase diary readership, I don't know if those are the readers I want. So we hang out, in pleasing anonymity. Of course, I'm used to being anonymous, but it's a change for her. I know it can't last, that the call of the footlights and speaker arrays will take her away. Still, I take pleasure from our fleeting intimacy, from the this brief, exciting, era of affection.

She sits and reads as I go to work--good books, poetry and philosophy. She wants to help with the rent, but I won't let her; she's a guest, really more than a guest. When she arrived, I very politely set up the futon for her, but she said that one bed was enough for such a small apartment. If you understand.

But that part of things is secondary. Most important is that she's become a friend. As she sings in the morning, making love is easy; friendship never ends. It's simple. But in our case, it's true.




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


There is a Facebook group.


You will regret following me on Twitter here.


Enter your email address:

A TinyLetter Email Newsletter

About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


Syndicate: RSS1.0, RSS2.0
Links: RSS1.0, RSS2.0


© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

Tables of Contents