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  • Writer's pictureHailo

5 Dates, One Week (Again)

Hi Literatis.

I hope you all have had a wonderful week and weekend. I have had what I like to call a "memory-dense" one. I started using this phrase when I heard it somewhere. I feel very strange about memory sometimes. I used to freak out whenever I'd see a phrase I wrote down that I didn't remember or, couldn't recall what I'd done last week. Part of this memory anxiety comes from social media, some from alcohol, and some from the mixture of the two.

But I often remind myself that the brain is a little filing cabinet and I'm filling up the days with a lot of lovely stuff. Give the neurons some time to sift. Document! Write! Share! Even if it's just for yourself when you can't remember what you did last week.

I talk about this in the Didion video and maybe the Graham one, but I think we live in a culture of sitting down alone. Sitting down at a desk. Sitting down on your phone. Psychological and Spiritual isolation. I do not absolve myself of this, I ironically just excused myself from a conversation with my roommates to sit down and write this. But, I was barely seated this week and I will give you a few deaths, a few delights, and a nice little recap:


  • Headaches - I know it's because I drink way too much coffee. I tried to stop until my grandmother told me that her mother drank and drank coffee well into the evening. Whenever someone tries to make you feel bad about something, just say "it runs in my family!"

  • Michelin starred Restaurants with broken grills - if you own an izakaya restaurant on Lex, your waiters are stressed!! The grill has been down for a week

  • People who don't remember meeting you within the span of fifteen minutes - I've been on both ends of this, and we're back to the question of memory, but when there are only two Black people in the room and I am one of them, this is sort of impressive



On Wednesday, I brought Bella Ve, Hailey Cognetti, and two of our new wonderful Literati Summer Interns -- Aileen + Matias -- to a Literary Event. Bella wrote about it and I love how her mind works at these sort of things. Last weekend, at a Michelin starred restaurant with a working grill, we chatted and drank and chatted about our perspective towards writing. We agreed a long time ago, when she first started writing for Hot Literati, that we get along because we are both instinctive haters. We are apprehensive and reluctant, until we are not.

But she always ends up on a different side of apprehension than I do, in a different way. In a way that's a little more feathery??? Like lighter, with real feeling. And, she almost always makes you laugh. She is very funny.

On Monday, I accidentally had a date. I told them that we couldn't really date date because I'm not like that right now. They looked at the skyline behind me and told me that I was pretty. Lately, more people have been coming into my life that are very good at articulating affection. This is something that I've never been good at, and I earnestly want to work on.

On Tuesday I wrote.


I've chosen to re-embrace the dating column, since I keep falling into things, but to differentiate myself from Carrie Bradshaw, I'm now titling it "Not Sonia." This a reference to Sonia in Crime and Punishment. She followed a man to Siberia. I would never (again). Carrie centers men constantly. I spent an entire year learning how not to. This is a real column. Not a column in a show. You learn a lot from dating, but we get properly deep over here, not TV deep.

Last night, I had a first date with the man who ran across morning traffic to get my number. It was a 6-hour-long first date. I could say more, but his assistant looked me up before our date and, because I'd introduced myself as "hailo" and not my government name, he only knew this weird little instagram account I have with like 60 followers and few videos playing guitar. I haven't told him that I write a lot about dating yet. I think a lot about the ethics of being a writer and dating writers and being a writer who dates. So maybe I'll write about it, if you all convince me, and if I have a chat with him first.

But I'm into it.

Friday I had two dates. A dinner with a man who I need to text back, but I'm still trying to process how I feel about it. And a drink with a long-standing fling. A fixture, we will call him. Maybe he deserves a name at this point. We will call him Mr. Winnies, because that is where we met and because I will miss that weird little bar. We had a drink at a members club in lower manhattan, and in the spirit of our June Deaths/Delights (intern Alice's idea for insta) and my recent embrace of PDA (Dad, skip this line), we made out on the third floor. P!D!A!

Nevermind, the only other people up there were the DJ and the Bartender. Public is public.

Wednesday after the event, we had book club. I'm still thinking about when Mikaela cited a book that talked about how America still has the energy of the slave-trade pent up in our lives, our culture. I also brought this up in a podcast episode going out this week.

The podcast episode is a discussion between me and the ex-boyfriend. Yes. I know. Paid substack subscribers will get it first. Everyone says not to talk to your ex. A podcast felt like a loophole.


Been getting a lot of blurbs and such about Hot Literati lately. You all make this community. Book Club really showed me that this past week. I am so grateful for you all, and we recently got the little checkmark on substack for having "hundreds of paid subs".

In the spirit of (re)Cognition summer, we will be unpacking the checkmark. But first, I say thank you to you.

Now, I will leave my desk to go back into the real world, and tonight, I will write by hand, with no distractions.

Whether reading this in your inbox, on your phone, or on your laptop (desktop view is the cutest imo), I encourage you to do the same. Turn it off. Go outside.

Hot Literatis aren't app users. We don't identify that way. We have je ne sais quois, a whole lot of lust for life. We are alive girls, boys and people!! Use your five senses. Your feet on the pavement. Your skin in the sun. Your lips on someone else's (in public?).

Life starts in your mind. Feed it with the real world, not just the digital.



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