So many. In all the places you would expect. Brooklyn, Berkeley, Cambridge, Boulder, Bryant Park, Austin, Laurel Village. Hyper-educated, sensitive, caring, adventuresome. Gourmets and gourmands. Sensualists. Drawn together, having learned how to draw together. Liberal, open-minded, visionary. Degreed. Believers in the power of words, in well-ordered prose, in the primacy of language. Lovers of literature, stalwarts in the community of literary believers. Readers and writers. Poets.
So many many. In all the places you've visited. Ann Arbor, Madison, Philadelphia, Durham, Portland, Houston, Menlo Park, Denver, Atlanta. Teachers, mentors, confidantes, faithful friends. Hearts on their sleeves. Collaborators. Practiced in irony but willing to forgo irony at the first sign of The Genuine, of The Real. Willing to swoon. Lovers of clouds, wanderers. Museum-goers, curators, incessant filers. Researchers. Delighters in facts. Wide-eyed in a world of wonders.
So many. Wherever you go you meet them. Seattle, Nashville, Miami, Charleston, Great Barrington, New Orleans, Montclair, Charlottesville, San Antonio. Pronouncers of judgment, deriders of quackery. Possessed of finely tuned bullshit detectors. Ready to laugh. Owners of permanent seats in the theater of the absurd. Masters of appreciation. Undaunted by obscurity. Day-dreamers. Cynics and utopians. Nursers of broken hearts. Hams. Post-modern traditionalists.
So many many. In the desert heat of Phoenix, the blues clubs of Chicago, in Memphis, Laguna Beach, Columbus, Albany, the Village, West Hollywood, Princeton, Baltimore, Providence. Brilliant conversationalists. Talkers. Story-tellers. Tricksters. Lovers of the silly and the sublime. Followers of no camp, skeptics. Early adopters. In the know. Fanciful. Musical. Fashionable. Unafraid of new ideas. Dancers.
So many. In Oxford, Tampa, Savannah, New Haven, Lake Placid, St. Paul, DC, Manchester, Hoboken. Awkward, tentative. Hanging on by a thread. Out of work or threatened on the job. Laboring under debt. Having to make ends meet. Resentful of The Street. Dependent on the Free Market. Furloughed. Wondering how to create value. Unsure of themselves. Under the gun. Needing affirmation. Fearful of the technology they're wedded to. Questioning everything. Asking where do they fit in, trying to figure out how to monetize their work. Angry at having to use the word monetize. Feeling exploited, needy. Sick of spreadsheets. So many. Ready, willing and able. Underutilized. Under-appreciated. Desiring meaningful work, having to adapt. Wounded. Heart-sick at politics. Weary of swimming against the tide. Self-deprecating. Given to over-analysis. Dismayed. Disbelieving. Looking to connect. But not yet bitter. No, not yet bitter. Still looking.
So many many of my dear brothers and sisters. Without you I'd be lost.