- Favorite animal?
- Favorite holiday to celebrate?
- Favorite number?
- Favorite gift you’ve ever received?
- Favorite instructor/teacher/mentor/professor?
- Favorite place to meet a friend?
- Favorite way to unwind?
- Favorite childhood memory? (This could be difficult.)
- Favorite thing about yourself?
- Favorite sexual memory? (This may not be possible for you, come to think of it)
Animal: Cat. Had them all my life.
Holiday: Shabbat. Not because I’m a believer. I’m not. But because I like the rituals of shabbat dinner – candle, singing, eating, drinking. And, I like the idea, though I rarely practice it, of setting aside 24 hours as separate, different.
Number: 2. Connection.
Gift: Hmmmm. Now that’s a hard one. A year ago, my son and I went on a trip with my father and his husband. The gift was the trip. Not financially. Everyone paid their own way. But the gift of the time together was unbeatable. On a more N level… I would say the greatest gift I’ve received was V‘s daily videos of her dressing for me and touching her cunt. I asked once to receive that, and for months, maybe even years, I had the pleasure of seeing V dress her pretty body for me, and start her day wet and wanting, clothed. The gift of the action, the video, and the delivery of it, unbidden, unfailingly, was like catnip for me.
Instructor/mentor/professor: I’m torn. My first semester of college, I had a freshman writing teacher – a religion professor – whom I credit with having taught me to write (inasmuch as I can write). He was incredibly generous with his criticism, parsimonious with his praise. But his criticism – he would circle a dozen words per page, and write “WW” – wrong word – next to it. He was, unfailingly, correct. In grad school, I had a professor who took a special interest in me, and who provided a space for me to create and to learn and to stretch myself in a way no other teacher ever has done. My fourth grade teacher was one of those charismatic, kind men who I simply knew loved me – and all his students – with bottomless generosity. We still are in touch. Currently, I have a teacher who holds me in a grand-maternal way once a week, and helps me learn to think better. And, finally, Gil Fronsdal is the closest thing I have to a guru.
Place to meet a friend: Any venue that serves food and beverages.
Unwinding?: I do love me my end-of-day scotch. Currently, Ardbeg An Oa. Often, Oban. I love to meditate as well. And there’s nothing like any journey from point A to point B with my son.
Childhood memory: This is hard. When I was 7, 8, 9, 10 I lived in a brownstone in a garden apartment. My best friend’s family owned the brownstone, and he and they lived above us, on the top two floors. Pretty much every Saturday night, we would watch “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Odd Couple,” and, finally, “Saturday Night Live” (which nobody ever called “SNL”). That was peak SNL. And we often would pass out on his mom’s bed with the TV on, me, him, his younger brother. My mom would wake me up at around 12:30 or 1, and bring me downstairs, where I would continue to sleep until the morning, when I would wake up and we would have bagels and lox, and I would sort my baseball cards while my mom read the Sunday Times. Jonathan Schwartz was on the radio. And then, in the afternoons, me and my upstairs neighbor – and one or two other friends and their siblings – would play Monopoly on a giant, 6’x6′ board that we made, with custom rules that we made up, with the Beatles playing. That stretch of 18 or so hours every week was just spectacular. And I’m still close with those guys.
Sexual memory: This, too, is tough. For lots of reasons. I have so many great sexual memories, and I’m loath to compare them. Some – particularly those that involved the exchange of money – were bittersweet. Often tremendous in the moment, but with all sorts of angst and suffering around them. Not to mention the suffering they caused among my family. Many of my best sexual memories are detailed on this blog. But I’m afraid I can’t choose.