It was in a poetry reading at the University’s Writer’s House when I first saw Michael L. sitting "on" a table alone. Cool and heedless. His red sweater was noticeable more than anything else.
-“May I sit "on" this “table” too?” I asked.
- “Sure!” Michael L. answered without moving an inch.
A few days later, he entered the Creative Writing class 7 minutes late, panting.
-“You’re breathless!” I said.
-“I ran all the way from work to be on time!” He smiled. Not a regular smile.
There was something rebelliously innocent, sharply humorous and radically cool in his eyes…Something that stayed in me for a long time. I recognized an unexplainable depth and curiosity inside a very young body.
Michael L. student of Linguistics wrote exceptional stories in an unconventional style of writing with his passionate Jewish American culture tone. A certain intellectual humorous ones.
When we read “A woman’s Body” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa in our class and discussed Akutagawa’s innovative, modern style in writing, Michael L. brought me a DVD copy of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai directed by Jim Jarmusch, and told me how much he loved Jarmusch’s movies and David Foster Wallace’s writing.
The semester was over.
Michael L. traveled to Europe for almost a year; learning new languages and expanding his knowledge of new cultures. I enjoyed reading his memoir and his fascination on living abroad…
When David Foster Wallace took his life, Michael L. was constantly in my mind. Life did not allow me to write him a note.
Yesterday I received a touching email from him describing a beautiful definition of thanksgiving….I wanted to tell him: Michael L., young and fresh, you inspired me to travel beyond the boundaries once again! Thank you!