This post is dedicated to “Dr. Art Levine” of Los Angeles. Wordpress informs me that a good portion of the people who landed on my blog were searching for him and they found this instead. I’m going to go google the guy now…ok that was a weird exercise. There are SO many Arthur Levines on Linked In alone (I myself am NOT on Linked In thought I get “invitations” to sign up all the time) it’s like looking in a fun house mirror of alternative lives. There’s a pretty good-looking Arthur Levine who’s a “Financial Executive” in Florida. And there’s the always affable-looking Arthur Levine who is a leading Educator. Seems to be a pretty wide variety, though alas, no Arthur Levine the gorgeous bodybuilder. No Arthur Levine playboy-billionaire. No Arthur Levine reclusive head of an Island-state somewhere in the Caribbean, last seen here in this photo with Colin Farrell. Oh wait — there ARE pictures of me with Colin Farrell; he helped us launch the book CLICK – a collaborative novel that was to benefit Amnesty International. That FEELS like an alternative me (did I really get to stand next to Colin Farrell with his arm around me??) but isn’t.
This is in fact why I included the “A.” in my Imprint name: Arthur A. Levine Books. At the time of my imprint founding I belonged to a synagogue in New York City where there were three other Arthur Levines beside me. So I could only imagine how many other generic Arthur Levines were out there in the world.
It’s a strange sort of twinning, really. One that it never occurred to me to think about as a child growing up without the internet. Back then I wondered what it would be like to have someone ELSE to talk to who looked like me, who sounded like me, who had the same sort of brain as I did, but who maybe had different experiences. There was no one like that, of course. But there WERE all these other people with the same name, growing up with different families, having different experiences, making different choices. If I met these other Arthur Levines would there be ANYTHING familiar about them?
I’ve reached a stage in life where I am struggling to make conscious choices. How do I want the summary of my career to read? What would I like people to say about me in general? I don’t want to coast in anything I do — not my job, not my marriage, not my friendships. Too often coasting leads to cessation.
So I’m heading out for a ride, folks, doffing my hat at all you other Arthur Levines out there, all the many versions of my ACTUAL self smiling at me from Google’s search engine, and of course, to any of you who might be reading my bloggish nonsense on this beautiful August day.
Please be nice to any Arthur Levine you happen to meet.