Dear Jordy Cohen by Paul Hostovsky


Dear Jordy Cohen,

It was something you said on the basketball court, forty years ago, when I was eleven and you were probably in your early twenties, at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac for boys: “I see right through you, Hostovsky—all you care about is looking good.” That was a fucked-up thing to say to an eleven-year-old. In fact, I think it qualifies as abuse. I think it fucked me up psychologically, because I’ve been carrying it around with me for forty years like some lost Israelite wandering through the desert with this craven image of myself that you took upon yourself to stick in my face, you fucking chutzpenik. They should have done a background check on you before letting you loose among the impressionable prepubescent Jewish children of the Berkshires with your unsolicited psychological two cents. Though you were right about me—I’ll give you that—what gave you the right to inflict that observation like some dangling participle in the ambiguous sentence of my life, undermining every love poem I have ever tried to write, amounting to an inability to form true connection with another human being. It’s all your fucking fault, Jordy Cohen, whoever you are, wherever you are, probably in your sixties now with your own erectile dysfunction and psychiatric shingle hanging outside your door. Well, projection makes perception, Dr. Cohen. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you dick, you shrink, you shrinking dick, you perp, you feckless fuck.