Sunday, February 3, 2013


Friday I had lunch with Vince Larue, the splendid young illustrator who created the cover art for my zombie novel…

Vince was in town for the scheduled opening, that evening, of a show at Willo North Gallery in which his work was to be featured, but which was—for reasons unrelated to him—ignominiously cancelled after he had already made the trip from France to attend the opening (happily, the show is to open in March instead, at a venue TBA).

Anyway, for lunch we went to Beijing Garden, the newish, excellent Chinese place at COFCO Center. I had the eggplant in brown sauce—sublime—and Vince had the spicy tofu, which I sampled and which was also delicious, though a bit spicier than I prefer. When we finished, we were brought our fortune cookies.

Now, at a friend’s recommendation last year I read a charming book, which I highly recommend, called The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, by a New York Times reporter named Jennifer 8 Lee (yes, her middle name is “8”). It’s about the considerable significance of Chinese food in general, and the fortune cookie in particular, in American culture.

Apparently the fortune cookie is not so familiar in Normandy. I cracked mine open, read my fortune (“Have a vision. Be demanding.”) and was crunching up the halves when I heard Vince giggling from across the table. I looked up.

“I ate the message,” he said sheepishly, spitting out a tiny wad of pulverized paper.

So his fortune remains a mystery. But if I had to take a guess, it would be that a bright future is betokened for this guy.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, everybody. To the very tiny degree that I care, I guess I‘m rooting for Baltimore, as I’ve had a lot of fun in that city, and I love that they named their football team in honor of Poe, who died there.

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