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And I could tell you so many stories, stories of poverty and privilege, of divorce and infidelity, of fatherhood, forgiveness and the foolhardiness of studying philosophy when you are the great-great-nephew of the great Ludwig Wittgenstein.I would hardly suggest I lead a life to rival Cendrars’ own (my two cats have seen to that), but I had adventures.I hadn’t been single in nearly a decade; I didn’t even have Facebook, let alone a stockpile of profile pictures or an irrepressible texting game.But I was also a writer who worked from home, one whose closest friends were married with children.In a matter of minutes I would map out a new life for myself, one that fit the mold of whatever man I was messaging. But I soon noticed that the flip side to the disappointment of each mismatch or aborted romance was a mounting sense of strength and self-sufficiency, a hardening of character, a greater understanding of the woman I am when I’m intact.
Thanks to Hinge and Bumble, I have dated German poets and Indian bankers, Australian contractors and Brazilian waiters.I have learned how to sext, how to plant tomatoes, how to drink mate, beat box, and navigate the bars of Bushwick.I could introduce you to men who believe in God and men who live in their cars; men who have slept with their sisters and others who have followed the Dead.How narrow was my own existence, I thought then, and how it continued to narrow by the day.But to go on dates with 86 different men is to gain as many windows on the world; it is to see one’s vast city and one’s vast self, if only for a few hours, through the eyes of a stranger one would never otherwise have met. 10, which found me at a Rhode Island pub on a February evening so brutally cold the authorities had advised us all to stay indoors. We drank the espresso martinis he had ordered and argued about welfare; we talked of fathers.
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That spectral ex-spouse of mine used to complain of what he called our “heteronormative” lifestyle, a term that made me roll my eyes though I knew just what he meant: Our lives had lost their capacity to surprise.