I'm not so sure about today's mandatory man -- he's wearing a top hat in his profile picture and the first favorite author he lists is Richard Brautigan -- but since I am well on my way to eventually messaging every single man in the five boroughs, I might as well shoot him a message now. And he also likes Angela Carter. And he mentions typewriters twice, so I wrote to him about typewriters. Specifically my 1963 Smith-Corona Galaxie, the one I found on the sidewalk when I was thirteen, with the steel-blue cover and someone's Social Security number scratched on its innards. I bet someone took that typewriter to college. I bashed out unfinished stories on it, and unfinished essays about Hamlet, which I had just discovered, and the more timid of our two cats loved it for some reason. Maybe it was the smell of the ink. She liked to rub her face back and forth over the opening in the cover over the typebars. This typewriter currently resides on the bottom shelf of the nonfiction bookcase in the living room, probably still full of Rusty's fur.
But back to the mandatory man. He also lists Doris Lessing among his favorite authors, so at the end of my message about the typewriters I asked if he wanted to get a beer and try to explain The Golden Notebook to me. Because, as has already been established, I don't get Doris Lessing.