I heard from my pen pal again yesterday, and stood there by the curb holding the typewritten letter in my hands, seeing the way each stroke bore deeply into the paper, leaving a mark. I realize the mark this man (whom I met recently) and his writings (in which I’ve been immersing myself since this happened) are making on me. I have three books of his to go–the ones about the sexual revolution, the Mafia, and The New York Times. He and I are also both trying to get something new into The New Yorker. He stands a better chance.