Lyn Coffin's Blog

I'm a writer, so write I must.

  • Lyn Coffin

APRIL 2020: Tinder is a new Novella- (I have to post weird posting times so it will appear here in the correct order.) Tinder will be published by Serotonin Press later in later this year! Here is this epistolary autobiographical (somewhat embarrassing) novella, day by day. © Lyn Coffin



From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, Mar 8, at 9:57 AM

Subject: Re: Austin from Tinder, 3 Miles Away

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Good Morning Lyn,

Hope you had a good night sleep. A morning is a wonderful blessing, either cloudy or sunny. It stands for HOPE, giving us another start of what we call LIFE. Start your day with a new inspiration like a wave. Waves are inspiring, not because they Rise-and-Fall but because each time they Fall, they never fail to Rise again!

Lyn, I don't know how to start writing about myself but one thing I have passion for is nature and maybe traveling. I love traveling, sometimes it's the best way to get away and get a new breath of nature from another angle. In the Azores, there are numerous places on the island to see the natural “Funas” where the hot water still boils to the top. There are even places to swim in the naturally warm “volcanic water”. I did wonder, at some point when watching the boiling water and sulphur smoke from the “funas” rising from the earth, just how extinct the volcanoes actually are!

The islands are a photographer's dream destination due to the absolute lack of pollution, which enables the natural shades and colors of the landscape to be captured. I've been there only once and I wish to be there again especially with someone special. Hopefully, if we can find the chemistry in between, we can be happy to give it a shot.

Currently, I work as an independent financial consultant, coaching graduate trainees, I'm really good at engaging with people, organizing and running projects, cooking, listening, giving, traveling, creating a homey ambiance and environment, shopping, remembering what's important to you and sustaining relationship. I usually get compliments about my smiles. I love going to the beach, cruising and hiking. Oh my, I can go on and on telling you all I've always wanted to sit by the beach and discuss with my lover. Guess I'll stop here and wait to get your reply. I can't wait.

Take Care and Have a Lovely Day Ahead


Ps: I attached some of my recent pictures. Hope you like them


!"of Vieques, wild horses, plantar fascitis"

Tinder 2

"Vieques, wild horses, plantar fasciitis...."

From: Lyn Coffin

Date: Tue, Mar 12, at 11:09 PM

Subject: Sorry I haven&#39;t written sooner

To: Austin Nissan <>

Good Evening, Austin- I also love traveling. I’ve never been to the Azores, but that sounds like a great destination. I admire your financial expertise. One of my best friends (in Michigan) was a financial consultant, but he said people kept wanting to talk about their relationships and personal problems. So, he quit the financial consulting business and became a therapist. Now he says people always want to talk about their money problems! I am really busy these days. I’m a widely-published writer and I have a couple of books coming up for publication in the near future, which brings the total to 24 or so. I’m really glad to see my brain children getting born, but there are always “business” things to attend to, and I’m not great about that.  Back to the Azores- one of my favorite places to visit is Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. They have many wild horses there, left from the shipwrecks of Conquistador ships. They also have a bay which is famous for luminescence. I really enjoyed dipping my hand in the water, and watching the rainbow ribbons trailing behind it.  I have done quite a bit of hiking and love it. I have been trying to get in shape for a three-day hike with my two sons next month, but I developed something called plantar fasciitis and that’s slowed me down more than a little. I won’t go on about it, but I’m not sure what will happen next month, if I’ll be able to hike the 6 miles a day we originally planned. (For my sons, that’s just a stroll in the park, but it’s a challenge for me.) I used to love solo camping, but I did that with my dog, and he died in January. I still feel the pain of that. Well, I’ve somehow introduced two “down” notes (the plantar fasciitis and my dog’s death) - but I am generally an upbeat person, and I appreciated your email.  I look forward to seeing where this correspondence leads us. My own idea about things is to meet up sooner than later, but I’m willing to wait on that if you’d prefer it. Here’s to you, fellow traveler!


PS: I'm sorry I haven't written sooner.


"The Werther effect and 50 new client arrangements"

From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, Mar 13, at 4:54 AM

Subject: Something special about you

To: Lyn Coffin <>

It’s okay Lyn, I guess you’ve been busy with work. I understand that but I’ll be looking forward to your mail. It’s a bright morning here and I feel like sharing the joy with you but since I don’t know where you are right as you read this message nor what you look like this morning, I’ll only smile to the sunrise and I trust it will smile back at you the moment you step out of your house this morning.

Yesterday I went to see Werther, the Jules Massenet opera based on a novel by Goethe. The plot is a bit implausible but the music is lovely. I understand that when the novel was published in the late 18th century it caused a flurry of suicides- known as the Werther effect- among young men. Jonas Kaufman, the German tenor, sings the title role. I’ve seen it before but this production is special because of Kaufman.

Lyn, I just want to let you know that the feelings I get when I read your message are growing stronger and stronger each day. I can imagine you here as I read your words. I think that if we take our time and do everything right, this feeling could blossom into a fairy-tale romance. Smiles.

Today, I’ll be leaving for San Francisco for the seminar I told you about yesterday. I’ve already started getting mails from the interns. They can’t want to begin this new phase of their lives, it is their first big event and we’re going to have a tedious time in preparation. I’ll spend most my time preparing term-papers for them as we prepare for their presentation tomorrow. I wish them well, it’s a big opportunity for them especially with the company because right now the company currently posts record sales in its stock plan administrative services unit.

So, for over a year now, the company has inked over 50 new client agreements representing more than 140,000 plan participants. It’s a big deal for everyone involved and from records it adds $10.8 billion to the stock services platform, and represents four straight years of record sales.

So, anyone of them who passes this examination will be working for these set of new clients. I’m hoping to get the best out of my trainees.

Guess that’s too much talk for a morning. Lol. Well, I will just get a cup of coffee and attack the day. Life has been so kind to me lately. This year has been more rewarding… These days I wake up with so much excitement, who would have believed that I will finally find someone to share my feelings and love with. Life is so unpredictable. Changes always come along, in big or small ways. I don’t know what happened that this sudden change has turned my world upside down. I don’t know exactly what it is, it just hit me, but there is something special about you.

Lyn, it might be all the things I see on the surface, the things that everyone notices and admires about you, qualities, capabilities and a wonderful smile obviously connected to a warm and loving heart; these things set you apart from everyone else.

But it may also be the big things, the person you really are that I hope to know more someday. And it might also be the little things, the way you express your feeling in words and how I decipher it. I receive so much joy just being able to read and create a picture of you in my mind.

So, if I ever figure out the magic that makes you so special, I’d probably find out that it’s a combination of all these things. You are a rare combination of so many special things.

One thing is certain, I’ll always remember and cherish these early moments, for it’s on these the future is built. I’m sorry if I make feel uncomfortable with my words of expression but I’m not the kind of person that hides feelings. You’re such a darling. Have a great day ahead and please don’t stress yourself so much. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm hugs and kisses,



... "you look very handsome... and this makes me nervous...."

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, Mar 13, at 8:39 AM

Subject: Irrepressible You

To: Austin Nissan <>

Hi, Austin-

Yes, I’ve been working a lot lately, and not feeling so hot, but this morning I’m better.

I wonder where you saw the Massenet opera - possibly a Metropolitan Opera movie showing?

I really appreciate your enthusiasm. I am significantly older than you, you know. Doesn’t that give you pause?

We come from different worlds, as well. I think because of your history you are a true innocent, and I treasure that about you. I am glad you say you will always treasure these moments, and I hope that is true.

I love San Francisco. My son lives there, and I have visited him often. He recently purchased a historic building there, and has renovated it and moved there with his company. I am going hiking with him and my other son in June. I am trying to get in shape for that hike, but am finding it slow going. Today, I will try for another 4-6 mile hike and see how that goes.

Last night, I was part of a reading here in Seattle. It was fun.

Much as I enjoy getting your emails, I think maybe we should meet sooner rather than later.

To tell you the truth, I think meeting may be the end of us, rather than the beginning of us, but I hope I am wrong. You have such a bright and vivid imagination, and you are swept along by the strength of it. But in my experience, these wonderful imaginings are mostly that. At this

point, all I am hoping for is that we could be friends and maybe travel together. I love to travel, and it would be far nicer to travel with a friend than alone.

I have to admit I think “a male friend” here, for reasons it would probably be better not to examine.

I have had internet connections before that seemed very promising and it all came to nothing when we met. In fact, the more imagination and fantasy dominate, maybe the less likely it is to result in anything. There is nothing in what you’ve written that has turned me off or made me feel pessimistic. What I feel is more a tenderness toward you, and a wish that you not

get hurt.

Also, to be even more honest, you look very handsome in your picture, and this makes me nervous, as well. I have my moments, and can look pretty or engaging, but I am not beautiful. I think of handsome men as matching up with beautiful women. I am a warm and kind person, and I do think we could like each other.

Anyway, as you can tell, I have a lot of mixed emotions around you. I was once the kind of person you seem to be, and would get carried away with my beautiful imaginings, but now I

see them as having (for me) interfered with my ability to see and appreciate what is. I don’t say this is the case with you, just that it was the case with me.

Of course, it is really nice to have you write as you do, and to express the feelings you do, and even now, I think maybe I am making a mistake to feel very cautious. But I do feel very cautious- and cautious on your behalf.

I think it is a rare and wonderful thing that a man gets to your age and works in business and still has a boyish innocence about him.

Yes, the thing you imagine would be the greatest gift I can imagine, but- It is extremely unlikely.

When do you imagine meeting? I think it would be good to meet sooner rather than later; then we’ll see/feel what really is. What do you think?

I hope your day is wonderful.

Enjoy San Francisco. (How could you, irrepressible you, not?)



apology, and the meaning of enthusiasm

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, Mar 13, at 8:57 PM

Subject: Your beautiful enthusiasm

To: Austin Nissan <>

Hi, Austin,

I have been thinking about my message to you all day, and worrying that it might have struck you the wrong way. I really apologize if I hurt you or irritated or oppressed you

in any way. I hope you know that when I was talking about your being disappointed, I meant because of how I thought/think you might feel after meeting me. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe it is best to “take our time” with this email correspondence. On the other hand, maybe meeting soon is part of doing everything right.

I know you are in San Francisco now and getting ready for the presentation tomorrow. I wish you and the interns all the best.

"So- I guess you’re busy with work. I understand that but I’ll be looking forward to your mail. It’s a beautiful calm evening here, and I feel like sharing the serenity with you but since I

don’t know where you are right as you read this message,” etc. See? Now you’ve got me quoting you to yourself. :-) I am going to look up Jonas Kaufman on the internet.

Thank you for sharing your feelings and, again, I apologize if I dimmed your beautiful enthusiasm (Do you know that word means “God within us”?) with my cautionary words.

I wish you good dreams,



...knowing someone out there is waiting...

From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, Mar 14, 2016 at 11:33 AM

Subject: TIME and SMILE

To: Lyn Coffin <>

It's Okay Lyn.

I understand how you feel. Sorry for my late response, I was so tired yesterday evening when I came into my hotel room here in San Francisco. I couldn't even take a moment to draft out my final lecture notes but there was no way I would fall asleep without checking for your mail and I found it here, so lovely. I feel a lot better and stronger today.

Lyn, I'm going to make this very short because I'm very busy but there's something I would like to share with you? You mind? Okay, the thing is you know that TIME and SMILE are two critical things in life… oh yeah, sometimes TIME makes you forget how to SMILE & sometimes someone's SMILE makes us forget TIME In hunting for a beautiful tomorrow, let's not waste the wonderful Today. [smiles] These are the words I said to myself as soon as I woke up and I feel like sharing them with you. You obviously have no idea how good it feels to wake up every morning, knowing that someone out there is waiting to hear from me like I wait to hear from you. Today is the day, I'm almost set to impress. With the thought of you in my head, I feel more confident and I'm going to do this for you. Please wish me luck with my presentation. I'll try and write you later. Okay?

Kisses - you're such a darling


Ps: How do I look in the picture? Met some of my old colleagues who now work here...been a while.


(3 messages)

... D'Artagnan and the results of long-term loneliness....

From: Lyn Coffin <>ate: Tue, Mar 14, at 6:44 AM

Subject: Best of luck

To: Austin Nissan <>

I wish you the best of luck, though I know you won't need it. You'll be brilliant!



From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, Mar 14, at 2:30 PM

Subject: Hope it is going well

To: Austin Nissan <>

I hope it's going really well. I like the photo. You are the incarnation of D'Artagnan!



From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, Mar 15, at 4:53 AM

Subject: In my thoughts…

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Good Morning Lyn, thanks for the compliment. Hope you had a good night sleep? My day starts after reading your wonderful e-mail, and in return sending you mine. No wonder that you are in my thoughts all the time? Guess I shouldn't be. Even though I don't have a way with words myself, what you say touches me deeply.

Thanks for the good wishes. No one has ever told me that I look like D'Artagnan. Smiles.... Yesterday, I had an excellent presentation even though some delegates couldn't make it because of the trailing panama papers report. Some of them who are involved boycotted the seminar to avoid people asking them questions but it's their decision anyway. It was a very busy day, I got to my hotel room very late. Tried sending you a mail but I was so weak to do that. The seminar continues today, all my trainees will be presenting today. You know, this might just be the last company seminar I'm going to attend as a financial rep because I'm planning to setup my own investment consulting firm before the end of the year. It's been good working for someone and I think it’s time I do my own thing. This is what I've done for many years and I've gotten to that point where I can boldly say, I run this.

Lyn, it's so unfortunate today, that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I received a call from my Mom that she is sick. For over 3 weeks now, she hasn't been feeling good, worst of it all is that she's far away in Scotland. Most times, I can't tell if she just misses me and wants to see me...I'm her only child and since we lost my father, she has always been by herself in Scotland where she retired. I had the opportunity to be with her for 3 days in November when we had a conference in Kent, that's in Scotland. So, I took advantage of that opportunity to be with her. She was full of joy when I came around. I love her so much, she has been my strength ever since I lost my wife.

Dear, let me not bore you with my life stories....smiles, I don't even know if you care to know; its only that when I share stories with someone especially a friend. It helps to ease the burden in my mind. Don't worry about how fast I seem to push our friendship; it's just a result of my long-term loneliness. I'll be leaving for the event place now. I wish you a good day ahead. Take good care of yourself for me.

Warm Hugs,



-you made me believe in us... sweet wild eager

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, Mar 15, at 7:30 AM

Subject: A flower for you.

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dearest Austin,

I am writing this just briefly to say. Yes, yes. I want very much to know about you, the sad and wrong side of the bed you, as well as the ebullient, optimistic you. I am very sorry to hear your mother is ill. I truly empathize. And what a wonderful, wonderful picture of the two beautiful pillars of warmth in your life. The conjunction of young and old and their connection in love for you helps me to see how you might have arrived where you are in your life. I want very much to write you more and I will. I was keeping my notes to you short in order not to distract you from your seminar, but I'll hold back no more. I do not really know where you came from or how you recognized me, but I recognize you now. Thank you for your patience and warmth. I see now that in in some ways (at least) you are more experienced then I in love and I will be glad to be guided by you. I look forward to your emails now as you look forward to mine. I will shower you with words, dear Austin. I wish for you the deepest and widest happiness. You have made me believe in us. I have pecked out enough now - I do hope you got the poem.

A warm hug and, again, I want to know anything and everything you want to tell me. I want to know about your wife, her life, your love for her, her love for you, your mother, your father- and I will tread lightly because all of it is sacred ground. Dearest Austin - I am listening.

Love, Lyn

The Flower

for Austin

An open meadow, high in the mountains.

I sit cross-legged in a full skirt,

comfortable on the warm spring ground,

and there is suddenly a flower in my lap,

petal overlapping petal,

white as a formal invitation

in the sky-blue valley of my skirt.

And I take the tender blossom,

and lift it to my face.

Its sweet wild eager fragrance

tells me of imagined gardens and unvisited meadows

And I lift my eyes and see now-

this kind of flower is abundant

in this high meadow;

I still hold it a miracle

this singular bloom has come to me,

brought by the breezes into my lap.

I arise in gratitude,

take the blossom to my mountain home,

and float it in a clear glass bowl.

I smile at the flower,

at its multi-layered form and fragrance….

I will be smiling

even when the flower is gone….

Even when I am gone,

I will be smiling.


"what marvelous tender moments these are now"

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, Mar 15, at 9:44 PM

Subject: Land of dreams

To: Austin Nissan <>

Just a brief note before heading for the land of dreams. I have thought of you on and off throughout the day, wondering if today was the wrap up, and if you knew anything more about your mom, and thinking about Scotland. When my daughter was little, I played the piano and sang to her about the Isle of Skye. When she was in high school, I took her there. It's been a long day. I spent the whole morning cleaning to receive my Airbnb guest, who will be here for two months, and is wonderful. I had some correspondence about a short play of mine that was accepted by a Connecticut theatre for development this summer. I'm planning to go east for that, if I can manage the trip among others. I had dinner at my son’s house in Madison Park. He was tired from a twenty-mile hike today. (He's getting ready to do the whole Washington section of the PCT this summer.

I am so eager to hear of you. All day, I kept checking the phone to see if possibly--but when no message from you was there, I just got happy thinking it meant a letter from you was that much closer. I do love getting your letters. I don't know how you knew, so early on, but you did.

I will close now- I hope your mood improved as the day went on. I felt an impulse to look in the San Francisco papers and see if there was mention of the meeting boycott to see if I could figure out your last name, but I didn't do it. You will tell me when it is right for you. Indeed, what marvelous tender moments these are now. You were right about that, as about so many things.

I hoped you liked the poem.

Good night, dear Austin

- Lyn


looking for answers in the stillness of the night....

From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, Mar 16, at 5:04 AM

Subject: I cherish you

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Oh my God, Lyn I love the poem. I've read it over and over again and I'm now left speechless. Goodness me! This makes me feel so different. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much Lyn.

Your heart is beautiful and I love that.

I know I should be getting ready to start my day but I'm here reading your mails and your poem again. Believe me it has become the best way to start my day. If not for anything else, let's be happy for meeting each other.

I'm just here thinking about our first meeting and it makes me feel like a high school boy. Dear, how could I not be happy, knowing that you exist, that you are alive, walking this planet at the same time that I am, and that for some miracle of life I have found you, and that you share my feelings, for you feel as attracted to me as I do to you. Tell me, what could possibly be more deeply rewarding than this? My trainees are very grateful to you also. They don't know why, but this period I had a specially great set of lessons, taught with a bigger loving emotion than usually, that was a reflection of all the love I feel for knowing you. I love training these lads. Half of my trainees are gifted; the other half is highly gifted It's amazing to know that I am in any way part of their development.

So last night, I was sitting on my deck while reading your poem - gazing at the clouds through the beautiful view of my hotel suite - looking for answers in the stillness of the night. The heaven did not open - only the bright twinkle of the stars and the sky smiled at me in my solitude. Are they mocking me or are they sharing in my happiness? If you have found meaning in your life, it is because of YOU, the things you want to do, share, invent and sacrifice. The eternal self-giving, trust and loyalty. I am grateful that I have been able to meet you, Having devotion from someone who cares deeply is an anchor in uncharted waters.

Lyn, the seminar will end on Wednesday but I'll be coming home on Thursday. This morning I got another call from Mama Austin and that's my deepest pain - knowing she's not happy. She's asking me to visit her and it’s a bit difficult for me to do that mostly now that I'm standing in for my director who is on leave but if really I can get a few days off my calendar, I'll be so glad to be with her as she demands. The ends in few days, I'm thinking of how possible Its going to be for me to share my little time between my usual work back home and the new clients we got here. I'm a bit stressed here.

Back home, I have a load of files waiting for me in the's crazy....I don't like to talk of these minor appointments. The good thing is that it doesn't feel like these new clients are going to be difficult to deal with but maybe I will have to reconsider my decisions. If I request some days off now it'll affect my performance record.

Well, it's time for me to go now and tell you I cherish you, Lyn. Thank you for telling me more about you, it helps. I adore you more than words can start to express. But I have a very long, long time to let you know the depths of my feelings for you, for I have the rest of my life, which is in your hands.

Soft kisses to you



...I just want to sit around smiling....

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, Mar 16, at 11:54 AM

Subject: Amazed

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dear Austin,

I’m at work, being an actor at an organ donation corporation. Four times a year, I’m an actor here. I play survivors of people who are dying or almost dead- grieving mothers, grandmothers, sisters. All are people in crisis, suffering people. It’s very draining but fulfilling work. Dear heart, if I may, not understanding the business world at all, I hope you will be able to go to your mother, no matter what. I used to work for a hospice and I heard many times- if only I had known. But we never know. Still, perhaps she has a sense of what is to come?

Í am absolutely amazed and still in another state. I don’t know how we got here, and I just want to sit around smiling. My life is in your hands, too. Two flowers in two gentle hands.

I have to go now- I will come back as soon as possible to write more.




Donna Van Norman had this to say about TINDER 11: In this letter to Austin, it seems that Lyn wants to reassure him that she is infatuated with him, and growing in her love of him. She is genuinely enjoying his letters, and the fact that he responds so well to her letters. But she knows she is walking on eggshells, because of the things in his world that he is leaving out in his correspondence. She wants answers, but instead of asking, she works harder to let him know she cares. She is aware, by now, that hinting or asking questions outright will not elicit responses that tell her anything important. So she allows herself to be swept off her feet by the words he does use to profess his love of her. At the same time, she admonishes him to take care of his sick mother by staying in touch and visiting her in person. Lyn's comment that she does not know much about business matters is the only hint she provides that she would like him to tell her more about his company.


...a play's the thing... and separate seats....

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, Mar 16, at 5:37 PM

Subject: A play for you…

To: Austin Nissan <>

Hi, Hello, dear one.

Well, I've finished my workday, which was draining but very rewarding. I'll tell you more about it if you want to hear. I've worked for this organization a long time and it never fails to move me. To think, to act as though your sister or son had just been declared brain dead or was shot in the head. It's part of the counselors' training and they always say how "real" the scenarios are. We actors play a part in helping them improve, so we're part of live-saving. What could be more rewarding than that?

I loved your letter of this morning, of course. So, I sat down at the computer and wrote a play in your honor. First a poem, then a play. You really inspire me. I'll send it to you very soon. I might send it to you in the original format, where L is Lola and S is Stanley. To protect you, I've already changed Austin N to Howard End - so the title is Stanley, Lola - and Howard N.

I, too, am like a kid getting ready for a first date. I'm very nervous and from time to time I think the first time we meet we should go to a fancy restaurant but sit at separate tables and eat separate meals, so we / I can get used to you as a real and physical presence. Without- well, my head is full of nonsense. I am sorry if I presumed too much in my last email.

I will write more, but I'm going to try to send you the play now.

I hope you are having a great day, though it must be overcast with worry.

Sending love and encouragement your way – and still amazed



Stanly: --(In the middle of a conversation) Look, why don’t we just— Oh, god, Lola, I can’t stand this any more.

Lola: What are you talking about? S: You’re smiling.

L: Is that so unusual? S: The way you’re doing it, it is. I’ve been your best friend for eons and—

L: We met less than a--.

S: Okay, well I’ve been your best friend for what seems eons, and I’ve never seen you smiling like this.

L: Oh, come on. It can’t be that—

S: You’re doing it right now.

L: I am?

S: Yes, and you’ve been doing it for- I don’t know- the whole time we’ve been talking. Okay, I’m sorry. I’m not being a good friend here…. Dear Lola, would you mind telling me what has happened? Are you pregnant? Have you suddenly discovered a cure for cancer, or gold under your sink? I want to be supportive here…. You’re smiling. You seem happy. Unusually happy. I don’t think this happiness has, necessarily, to do- with your getting to see me again- me, your best friend, so I wonder what-

L: I’m in love.

S: You’re in love with-- . Wait. No. I mean, You’ve fallen in love? Well, that’s great. That’s stupendous. And may I, your best friend of however long, know something about this man you’ve never even spoken previously about— It is a man, isn’t it? This person you’ve fallen in --

L: Yes… It’s a man and he lives in Seattle and he’s wonderful. He lives three miles away, and—

S: Could we start with a name, please? What’s his name?

L: Howard.

S: Okay. Well begun. What’s his last name?

L: I don’t know.

S: You don’t know his last name?

L: Well, no…. Howard N.

S: Howard End? That’s a place, or a book or—

L: Not End, N.

S: E N? Is he Chinese? –I’m sorry, that was culturally insensitive, wasn’t it? It’s just that “En” is an unusual—

L: Not E N. Just N. That’s just an initial. I think it’s an initial.

S: You’re in love with a man and you don’t know his last name?

L: I know. It’s odd, isn’t it?

S: How did you meet this guy? L: Well, I haven’t exactly met him yet.

S: You’re in love with a guy you’ve never met?

L: Yes…. I know it’s a little whatever, but—

S: This is an online thing, isn’t it, Lola? You met this guy online somewhere. Plenty Of Hookups. Grab Your Partner, one of those—

L: No, as a matter of fact. I didn’t meet him online. –I met him on the phone.

S: You met him on the—Oh my god. Is this that Flame thing and you have this phone app and swipe right or—

L: I know. It’s amazing, isn’t it? And he was my first match. I mean, I almost didn’t swipe him because of the difference in our ages. I was looking for somebody older, but they wouldn’t let me set my age minimum as high as I-

S: Wait. Wait. Wait. –So how much older is this Howard dude? L: Why do you assume it’s older?

S: He’s younger than you? –Lola! You sly fox, you!

L: That’s not funny..

S: Okay, I’m sorry. But, ah -- how much younger is he?

L: A lot.

S: Five years?

L: That’s not a-

S: Ten years? More? Fifteen? Oh my god. Dare I say—

L: No. Stop. That’s close enough.

S: So you met this really young guy- This really, really young guy on the phone… I say met, but you haven’t. And you don’t know his last name, but his first name is Howard and he lives three miles away.

L: Yes. He’s a businessman.

S: A businessman? Lola? You’re a poet! A writer! A meditator!

L: I know—

S: And you’ve fallen for a businessman? A crude conveyor of capitalist croneyism? A—What kind of businessman?

L: I’m not sure. He said something about a boycott or protest or something--

S: Oh my god. Think what it could be. Human trafficking. Heroin. Or worse. Fossil fuels. Crude Oil. (He shudders) So was it his picture to overlook all that? Do they even have pictures on those phone things?

L: What are you talking about?

S: What was it about Howard N-for-no-last-name that you fell in love with?

L: I’m not really-- I mean, I-- He fell in love with me first, that’s the thing. I tried to warn him. I pointed out the age difference. I pointed out that we’re from different worlds and that I’m not beautiful in--

S: I’ll be the judge of that. –Sorry, go ahead—You pointed out that you’re not beautiful in—

L: I’m not beautiful—well, in the way he is.

S: So there was a picture.

L: There was a picture.

S: And he’s really—He’s handsome, this Howard.

L: Oh, yes.

S: So handsome you fell in love with him?

L: It’s not like that. He was so handsome I almost didn’t write him. You know how it is. The handsome go with the beautiful. The ugly with the ugly. The rest of us—you and me

S: You don’t think I’m handsome?

L: Oh, Stanley.

S: Not even a teen weeny bit handsome?

L: …. You're fine.... Look, I’m happy. Let me be happy.

S: You’re happy because you’re in love. You’re in love with a guy you never met. And he looks very handsome in the picture but that’s not the point… What is the point? How can you be in love with someone, a businessman, for goodness sake, who you’ve only met on a phone, through a picture, and it’s not the picture you—

L It is strange, isn’t it? It’s a miracle, really. We've gotten to know each other as spirits first. We haven’t had these awkward package things—

S: --Losing me.

L: We haven’t had bodies to deal with. Just words and feelings and spirits….

S: Wait. Didn’t you say this guy lives three miles away?

L: That’s what it said on his profile. That’s part of why I swiped yes.

S: How long have you—been writing this Howard?

L: Two weeks.

S: And you’re in love with him and he’s in love with you and he’s three miles away and it’s been two weeks and you’ve never met?

L: He’s away on business. We’ll meet when he gets back.

S: And when is that exactly?

L: I’m not sure. I feel like a high schooler, Stan. I mean I’m about to meet someone and I’m in love with him and he’s in love with me and I’m so happy that- Maybe when we meet, our hearts will “burst smilingly.” I think that might actually happen. Or it might be one of those classic scenes where we’re walking toward each other and smiling and suddenly I trip and fall and smash my nose on his shoes and get his- I don’t know- I bloody his Oxfords.

S: Lola? -- We’ve been best friends a while now.

L: Yesss—

S: Haven’t you felt our friendship --growing?

L: Stanley—

S: Haven’t you felt our friendship might be morphing into something-?

L: Stanley.

S: When I first saw you this morning, saw how you were smiling, I thought for a moment- Look, I know this might not be the right time. In fact, this might be exactly the wrong—

L: Don’t. -- Please.

S: But you don’t even—

L: I do. --And don’t.

S: Because it’s the wrong moment?

L: Because it’s the wrong person.

S: You don’t feel that—

L: No. (BEAT)

S: You’re not smiling any more.

L: I’m sorry. I—I didn’t--. I just want you to be—you know- for me.

S: I know. And I am. It’s just. Jesus, you don’t even know the guy’s last name.

L: And still- I just think “Howard” and I go all — goosebumpy.

S: Goosebumpy. You sound like a twelve-year old.

L: I feel like a twelve-year old.

S: You’re smiling again.

L: I know.

S: I’m happy for you, kiddo. If it’s, you know, real at all…. I know, I know. But you read so many stories like this that end up in a dumpster—Okay. Love and be silent. Never mind. I tell you what. When you meet this Howard— You are planning to meet someday? Well, when you do, I could be somewhere nearby, hiding in the bushes, just in case, you know-

L: (laughing) Just in case what?

S: Just in case you need me to—I don’t know. Deck him.

L: Thank you, Stanley.

S: You’re smiling again.

L: Yes. And this time it’s because I’ve got you as my best friend. (They hug)


TINDER 13/14

...something sudden happened-- Abu Dhabi, Shell, prices, dividends, yields... and Guess What?

From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, May 17, at 6:00 AM

Subject: You amaze me

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Oh Lyn, you never cease to amaze me. I'm still dreaming about the poem you wrote me and you have a play. Thank you for the gift, disclaimer noted. I've already read it 4 times. I understand how you feel, don't bother apologizing. I would prefer being happy than grieving too. Dear, you're making me feel in a way I thought I would never feel again. Thank you for that sincere advice about going to see my Mom. I call her Mama Austin. Most importantly, thank you for encouraging me to go see her. You made a touching point there. We never know and I wouldn't want to utter those words of "If only I had known".

So, something sudden happened here yesterday, totally unplanned and unseen. You remember I told you my director is on leave and that's the reason I'm standing in for him? Okay fine, his name is Mr. Alfred. He is one man I've known for a long time and I can say that I know him very well. Can you believe he still keeps tabs on the business even while he's on leave? Someone bumped into me yesterday and asked if I'm the rep from Seattle. I acknowledged that and he asked me for a few minutes, which I gave him. He started telling me how my director has been talking with him about a new business in Dublin and that he would like to win the deal.

Long story cut short, this man invited me to dine with some oil marketers from Dublin and my duty was to talk to them on the dangers and cost of the recent crash in oil prices. Mr. Alfred likes it when I'm talking with potential investors, so that I can impress them with my business analysis; there were two contractors from Abu-Dhabi that worked with Shell Oil Company and are complaining that their investment programs are being pressured after Shell cut about $15 billion of investment over the next three years as the crash in oil prices saw fourth-quarter profit miss forecasts. It's too bad but I made them to understand that Shell, based in The Hague, will pay an unchanged quarterly dividend of 47 cents a share and repeat the same payment in the first quarter and possibly for the rest of the year. The yield stands at 5.7 percent. I don’t want them to get into a panic, with slash and burn responses that they will later regret but the truth must be told.

Fourth-quarter oil and natural-gas production has fallen 1 percent to 3.213 million barrels of oil equivalent a day due to Shell's loss of a license in Abu-Dhabi. My darling, you must be thankful that your investments are not tied to oil sales. A year ago, when oil prices were above $100, some investors pledged to make “hard choices” on new projects including them, companies sold $15 billion in assets over 2015-2016 which slowed investment growth and now the consequences are unfolding. More than 30,000 dismissals have been announced across the oil industry as companies shrink budgets. Exploration and production spending will fall by more than $116 billion, or 17 percent, on weaker oil revenues.

Lyn, you just can't understand what is happening to many businesses these days. Well I did my job to give them a total breakdown of the issues around and ahead but guess what? Mr. Albert wants to bargain for a deal with these business men with me as the broker. Now the summary of the meeting is that I will be traveling to Dublin today for an official engagement. I will be traveling with some Fidelity Investors and may be spending 10 days in Dublin. I hope to fly straight home to meet you on my way back to United States. I can't wait to get home. I miss Washington. It's pretty in its own way here, but nothing compares to Washington. I miss the smell of saltwater and all the tall trees. So different here.

Guess what? I broke the good news to my Mom just now, as soon as I woke up; told her that I would be coming to visit her this week. Dublin is not too far from Edinburgh, so I'm definitely going to see her. Life has a way of fixing things that seem so difficult to achieve. Well sweetie I've to go now, everyone leaves the hotel today and I need to say good bye to some friends.

Have a good day.

Warm Hugs and Soft kisses,

Austin Nissan

TINDER 15/16

...the grit at the heart of the pearl....

From: Lyn Coffin,;

Date: Tues, May 17, at 6:40 AM

Subject: You amaze me too

To: Austin Nissan;

Dear Austin, I never cease to amaze you? Really? Good, because you never cease to amaze me. Congratulations on your trip to Dublin. You read my play 4 times. I've read your email 2 times and will read it several times more before the day is out. What I don't understand about finance is everything, though my dad was in charge of Marine Sales Overseas for Mobil. I salute you - I love Dublin. The Book of Kells is there. And for a poet. Ah.... You&#39;ve made my day, Austin Nissan. Have a great flight. A kiss on the tip of your nose (silly me),



From: Lyn Coffin;

Date: Tues, May 17, at 8:24 AM

Subject: Gift of the universe

To: Austin Nissan;

I awoke just now and find myself thinking you might think the play strictly autobiographical. I want to reassure you that Lola is not Lyn and there is no Stanley and the conversation did not "really" happen. The poem I sent you is "me" much more directly than the play. I do see your feeling for me and mine for you as an amazing gift, a spiritual connection, a gift of the universe, beyond my capacity to understand, but for which I thank whatever gods there be...

I don't know where you come from any more than I know where my writing comes from. I send you what I am writing to share it with you. I am not Lola and I know that none of my male friends are as surface-oriented as Stanley. What I like most about the play is the back and forth near the end, where you see how close Lola and Stanley are. And none of this means anything at all next to you now, there in San Francisco, worried about Mama Austin's health. I wrote the play out of- the stream of my love for you. That’s the truth- the grit at the heart of the pearl. It was harder to act the part of a grieving person yesterday than it has ever been because I am so happy. It has been the deepest desire of my life to find you. And to find you, to have you find me, in a place like Tinder--! I put my life, the prose and poetry of it, entirely in your hands and kiss those beautiful hands. There is so much I want to give you. I hope the day ahead of you is filled with goodness and mercy.




From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 17, 2016 at 11:49 AM

Subject: an oasis

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dear Austin,

she sent him five emails


notes in study hall

In the middle

of the desert

an oasis:

In the middle

of business news

"My darling"

A disclaimer about the disclaimer: everything Lola says and feels about Howard is true for me about you- it is the character Stanley that's made up, and thus Lola's attitude toward him. I am not Lola because I don't have a Stanley.

I am so glad you will see Mama Austin.

The fact that you are real is the best news ever. I love reading about your business world. It fascinates me. (the above poem notwithstanding).

To be as good as you are in business speaks volumes. My dad took me to Paris when I was 18. A guy named Francois met us at the station in Paris. He was a young man being groomed for a top position. Welcome to Paris, Dick, he told my father. Thank you, my father said. But I am considerably your senior- so, Francois, don't you think you should call me Mr. Guild? And the guy apologized and called him Mr. Guild after that. And when we were leaving Paris a week later and Francois said, Goodbye, Mr. Guild- my father said. "I think we know each other well enough, Francois. Why don't you call me Dick?

He was good in business, my dad. I think you would have liked him.

Travel safe, my dear one

It's not that I can't wait to see you. I can and will.

Love, Lyn

TINDER 18/19/20

FROM: Lyn Coffin <

Date: Tues, May 17, at 6:31 PM

Subject: haiku

To: Austin Nissan <>

...Lyn: haiku/Austin: on my way to the airport/Lyn: thank you..

draft haiku #3

his trip took him farther away

but his morning messages arrived

before she went to bed

From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tues, May 18, at 5:08 AM

Subject: Joy

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Oh, my dearest Lyn, you make my blood rise. How can I be having such feeling? All the same, thank you for bringing me so much joy. I couldn't leave with the crew yesterday because it was so urgent for me. So, I'm leaving today, I'm already on my way to the airport. I thought I should write before I leave.

Take care my dear, I can't stop staring at your picture. I will let you know as soon as I get there.

Of course, I won't stop writing you emails

Warm Hugs

Love, Austin

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 18, at 6:55 AM

Subject: thinking of you

To: Austin Nissan <>

Thank you. I was hoping against hope for my morning message


thinking of you

  • Lyn Coffin

Updated: May 5


... Love, no matter what....

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 18, at 4:25 PM

Subject: hoping you are ok

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dear Austin- I must confess to being the littlest bit worried. You were going to let me know when you landed. I hope you just forgot or got slightly delayed or your plans changed midstream or something. I’ve been thinking about you all day, hoping you are okay and in Dublin.

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 18, at 11:26 PM

Subject: please write

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dearest Austin,

Now I’m really worried.

Please do write me when you get a chance.

I miss communication with you. It hasn’t been even a day, but it feels like a long time.

On the plus side, I went over our whole correspondence and put it together, and I discovered two pictures - of you in a bar, and of you with the elephant. I love both. You have such a nice smile when you are with the elephant, and such an intriguing look when you are in the bar.

I hope against hope I may wake up tomorrow and find a note from you. I have a confession to make.

I will not let myself think that something has happened to you.

Love to you, no matter what- You have given me great great joy, too. Perhaps it is unsubstantial or unsubstantiated joy, but it is joy nonetheless. You have made my heart soar, and I thank you.

Have you thought about the Azores recently?

Most importantly, how is your mother doing? I worry about her, too.

Good night, my dearest unknown Austin,

Love, Lyn

.Did I tell you I have a strong German accent?....


From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, May 19, at 7:16 AM

Subject: Joy

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Oh Lyn, believe me you are the most caring woman I have ever come across in recent years. This is a true confession from me and I bless the day I found you. I was really expecting to find your emails and here they are, with the lovely pictures. How wonderful! I had a nice and successful trip to Dublin. I arrived here not quite long ago, it was not a stressful journey as I had you in my mind all through. I was seeing you in my arms, seeing you rushing to hug me at the airport. At a time I lost it and was thinking that I was already in the airplane on my way to see you and then I realize I was going to Dublin and not to meet you, then I felt bad.

I'm so sorry for not writing earlier but it's because I've been trying to settle down in the lodge the company provided for me, also still trying to get my cell phone here working, I will give you my number here in the later part of this email. I am presently in Dublin. It's the capital and largest city of Ireland. located on the east coast of Ireland, at the mouth of the popular River Liffey. I learned it was founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland's principal city following the Norman invasion. It is popularly known as Garden of England" Because of its abundance of orchards and hop gardens. It is nice and serene. This is where the client's head office is located.

Kelly, is it possible to miss you this it just my imagination or is it real? I can't tell why but I miss you so much. I want to be with you and hold you. In my imagination, I want to gently touch your face and cup your cheek in my hand as I look into your beautiful eyes. I want to snuggle and cuddle with you, to just be close to you. I want to rub your leg and stare across the couch as we talk of our feelings for one another. I want to hold your hand across the table at a restaurant. I want others in the restaurant to be jealous of our intimacy and our tender affection for one another. I want to lie next to you in front of a fire and gaze into your eyes while I rub your back. I want to romance you. I want you to know how beautiful you are in my eyes. I want you to know how much I cherish and adore you. I want to give you my heart. I want your heart, I want it all.

Yes Kelly, I know you will be sleeping by now. I'm dropping this for you to read when you wake up as I have observed the time difference between here and the US. What time is it back home? Here's my number: +44-282-003-****. Can I have your number? I want to call as soon as I top it up for international calls but please don't laugh at my mixed accent. Did I tell you that I have a strong German accent? Oh yes, I missed that part. Spent 10 years working for a German investment company where I got to work with mostly German investors. Still haven't gotten over that. Well I have to go now, talk to you later dear,

Your Man


Ps: I attached a picture we took on our way to the lodge from the airport. That's Mr. Albert on my far left and Jimmy close to me, he works here in Dublin.

Comments: walter halperin Apr 21 Kelly? What is that about? Did I miss something in a previous episode where it becomes known that this is a potential menage a trois? I was just remembering that you wrote some 20 episodes ago that this was a semi-autobiographical memoir. And I started thinking that maybe I, reviewer not in residence, wasn't taking it seriously enough, clowning around writing nonsensical criticism, having fun at your expense. But now Kelly rears her head, turning this into potential farce, tragedy, who knows what? I am mystified and intrigued. Can it be that Austin had a momentary mental lapse in mid-epistle and blew his secret? Wow! Definitely - the suspense over where this epistolary romance was heading has now blown up into full crisis. Sitting in a theater waiting for the next episode of the Perils of Pauline fades into total insignificance in comparison. Anonymouse

donnavannormanApr 21 Kelly? Okay, a nice Irish name. Proof that this is/was his location. Sure.


...There are periods of time when I believe you are not who you say you are....

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 19, at 5:41 PM

Subject: looking forward to talking to you

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dear Austin,

I was very glad to get your letter. Thank you for the phone number. I won’t call you, but thank you for giving me the opportunity. (You are involved in an important business deal. Better to let you choose the time and place.) My phone number is 206 384 **** That’s the local number. I really really look forward to talking with you, whenever it is, and with whatever accent.

More importantly, would you please resend the picture of you with your mother? That was such a wonderful image. How is she? Have you heard anything else?

I want to let you know something. There are periods of time when I lose faith, when I believe that you are not who you say you are. Times when I think I have let my loneliness and wishful yearnings get the best of me. There are various scenarios that occur to me at those times- and at the end of them, I always come back to the fact that, even so, I care for you deeply. Even if you aren’t who or where or what you say you are, I do in some sense love you- as much as it is possible to love a person you have never met.

I have a present to give you at our first meeting. It means a great deal to me…. I think you will like it.

I look forward to our meeting very much. I will of course rush to hug you at the airport, if that is what you want, but maybe it would be better to give you time to go home and shower and maybe even rest. If this wonderful correspondence springs from reality, we have time, and you live, as I remind myself, only three miles away.

Sometimes, I think it is a mistake to speak of physicality in our emails. But I do so long to feel your arms around me, and I do want to kiss you- with kisses that are at first soft with a kind of tender timidity, but then gather strength until we feel the great wings beating —have a wonderful, Irish gold and green day… I look forward to talking with you- and hearing the news of your day


COMMENTS: walter halperin Apr 22 What happened to Kelly? Aren't you worried about Kelly? I'm worried about Kelly! Mysterioso.

donnavannormanApr 22 Austin most likely has suspected all along that Lyn is has been holding back her suspicion that he has been less than forthcoming about his infatuation with her and about his life. He is aware that she wants to know his name. He says that he lives only three miles from her. It is not clear whether she knows his address, because he has supposedly been traveling since they began their online romance. It seems they have played the same game. They talk of love and wanting to be in each others arms, as though to speak otherwise, might break the "spell." So Austin has continued to spin his tales, in the past, hoping he can keep engaging her. But Lyn, with her admitted mistrust of his letters, now, has become more emboldened. Why does she continue to write lovingly to him, in her recent letter, right after she has revealed her suspicions about his truthfulness? And will Austin continue his pursuit of Lyn with the same fervor, knowing she is on to him?

Lyn Coffin Apr 23 Dear Mysterioso- I am a little worried about Kelly. But Austin seems able to explain away everything eventually. I appreciate your commentary but don't know how to respond except as another "commenter." I hope to be able to respond directly to your next comment. (Yes?) Dear Donna- I'm not sure Lyn is "onto" Austin. You ask a good question- Why does she continue to write lovingly to him after confessing suspicions. Time will tell....

walter halperinApr 24 You think you are confused (with regard to how to comment on comments)? Until recently I thought Tinder was your particular name for this series of letters, didn't know it was a dating website (is it a website?). As someone who still live in the 19th century,. it 's all very confusing. In any case, I think the process is fine. My daughter met her wonderful husband (#2) on a dating thingy, as did my niece (also met #2) and also Willa's best friend (met #2) et. al. The explanation of Kelly doesn't ring true. I hope Austin doesn't show up in a black cloak and a handlebar moustache, his appearance ruined only by blood on his Oxfords. Anyway, the denouement is soon to arrive and all will be revealed. Good luck. By the way "mysterioso" was not a nom de plume, but a comment on the mysterious twists and turns of the plot. Maybe I've listened to too many Italian operas where "mysterioso" crops up in every other aria, along with "la maledizione." Anonymouse ll All All is yours... lost in the sweet ache of yearning....



From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 19, at 10:40 PM

Subject: Sweet ache

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dearest- I'm at my friend’s house in Olympia- it's a horse farm, really. My male cousin is here too. We always have fun when we get together. We ate and walked and talked and laughed and even swam- My friend has a little pool. The water was really cold but you could stand it if you kept telling yourself- "It's bracing!" It was one of those pockets of time.

I can't stop thinking about the things you imagined in your last letter. I read them over and over. I am lost in that sweet ache of yearning. I have a fireplace, too, and my apartment overlooks a ravine and is like being in a tree house.

I hope you are knocking their investors' socks off with your knowledge and charm.

Good night, sweetheart. I hope to dream of you.


From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 20, at 12:08 AM

Subject: Longing for you

To: Austin Nissan <>

Dear Austin,

I have read and reread your passionate message and yes I want to meet you at the airport and embrace you before a moment goes by. I don't know any more anything of like or love, just desire. I can't sleep. I keep repeating your words. I want to hear your lovely German voice saying my name. You have carried me into a world where I don't know myself, where everything I have and wish opens to you.. You are my lover, my longed for man. I am lost in your words. I say love but now I don't know. Perhaps that is only a plea for mercy, for kindness. All All All is you, is yours. Please call me soon, but when it is light out, not as now in this warm darkness that touches me everywhere. I don't want to rush, want to make this last for as long as we can. And keep tenderness with us as a guide... It takes more courage than I knew I had to hit send. It is midnight here. Another day bringing you closer to me, to home....

Hugging you from across the room-

Your woman


donnavannormanApr 25 Dear Lyn, Clearly your feelings for Austin are very strong in this piece. And certainly you don't want to entertain the idea he may be a fraud. You have invested so much energy and love for him. You want him to be what he says he is. You are confused, and rightfully so. But logically, the fact that he is more likely fraudulent than not, can't escape you. So this is why you want to tell this story. You want to help prevent this from happening to someone else. You are putting this story out there, in the hope that someone might read it and see them-self. (Notice the lack of specific gender in the comment.) It is a great thing you are doing! There are so many victims that have lost their savings by lies and trickery. I think that #24 Tinder is the pivotal event in this narrative. You are coming to terms, painful as it is. Donna

Lyn CoffinApr 25 Dear Donna, I think you must be a kind person, and trying to put the "best" spin on a story you see as "going down the tubes." You not only predict the end of the story, but the reason for the telling. I think you give me too much credit, or give me credit where no credit is due. I am grateful to you for articulating the "mainstream" view of the story. Perhaps there is another way it might be viewed? Is this my past self "coming to terms" as painful as that might be? I usually feel readers understand stories better than the people who tell them. A strange view, I realize, but still-- there it is. Thank you for your faithful commentary.

TINDER 25/26

From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, May 20, at 2:32 AM

Subject: You are my inspiration

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Lyn it's okay if you don't want to call. I will call you myself. Meanwhile I've attached the picture to this mail, didn't know I missed them. Sorry about that. Just so you know, I called you Kelly in my previous mail because it's an Irish baby name. The pet name I chose to call you.

I don't know how you do it but you leave me speechless with your words and my blood rises when I mirror your thoughts. The rains have been pouring since morning here. My heart, I'm so thankful to God for bringing us together. Yesterday was my first official day here so I'm already into what I came here to do. if I am to judge by how its all going now, I will say that what brought me here will be a huge success because it's been going as planned since the first day with my client and on the other side I came down to Lancashire to see Mama Austin last night after meeting with my can't imagine the kind of joy this brings me here. I told her about you and showed her your picture and she said "may be this is why you am looking so young and happy". She said that I should inform Lyn that you have her blessing!

On reaching here, I went straight to the hospital from the substation. I must tell you that two of the best things I have done this year were coming here to see my mother; the second was meeting you in my life. This was what she said. My mother loves to call me by name as she was the person that gave me the name. She said it was the name of my father's only brother who introduced her to my father but died the same year she gave birth to me. The condition I saw my mother in was not encouraging though she was smiling all through the period that I was with her. I could not leave her sight so I slept in the hospital till morning. I just got to her house here to take my bath and clean up before going back to the hospital.

The little problem I have for now which is trying to develop to a bigger problem is that I have started missing you, Can you imagine that? It may sound odd somehow but it's true. I am missing you seriously even without meeting you yet. My love, the truth is that ever since we started writing each other, I knew you were the one for me, I've been reassured of that in many ways that I see. We're still yet to meet and we are still fondly in each other minds, souls, and hearts. I feel it's time I delete my account on there because I see no reason keeping it since I've found you. Before I met you online, I almost forgot what love really was until my heart truly started aching for you. I admire you a lot. You are my inspiration for anything, and everything on this cold damp earth. I never thought my time would come to love, and then it came and I was hit with so much emotion and power I did not know where to put it all. I have stacked it piece by piece in my heart for you. I truly believe you are my soul mate, and you are the only woman I will only give all I have to offer forever.

I hope you never let go of me because I'm beginning to love you, and I pray you love me too as much as I love you. Just the thought of you brightens my day completely, and sometimes I do bring you there on purpose to make myself happy when I am down. Picturing your smile makes me smile, and I cannot wait to actually see that adoring woman. I know with the unforgettable smile I know so soon. You are the best thing that has happened to me in recent years. Lyn! I am so proud of you. I see myself as the luckiest man on earth to have you as my darling. Please take care of yourself for me. Well I'll have to stop here. Enjoy the rest of your day. Soft kisses from me……


Lyn is hugging a telephone pole. Will it communicate more than the missing Austin? There is potential there, zillions of messages flying above. As I recall. In his last message Austin was boiling. Perhaps he has cooled down, or worse yet - boiled over and evaporated entirely. How will this all end. Will there be some deus ex machina (just throwing that in to show my own literary bonafides, probably misspelled it) to rescue the situation at the last minute? Or will the incoming train smush Pauline into alphabet soup? What fun this is! Anonymous Mouse


...Lyn writes to Mama Austen, and Austen calls....


From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 20, at 3:47 PM

Subject: living and loving

To: Austin Nissan <>

I keep typing live for love. It doesn't bother me!



From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 20, at 3:54 PM

Subject: From my heart to yours

To: Austin Nissan <>

A Letter to Austin’s Mother:

Dear Mama Austin,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sending me your blessing. I would like to send you in return my sacred promise- that I will always do my best to be a good partner for your son. I will never willingly cause him pain, and I will always seek to bring him joy.

Warm best wishes from across the sea,



From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 21, at 5:21 AM

Subject: How are you? Any news?

To: Austin Nissan <>

I just woke up. It's still dark out. How are you? Have you heard anything more from/ of your mom? Are you with her now or "suffering" (her phrase) your work?

After all my protestations, I can't wait to see you,


May 21, 6:10 AM - First call from +44 28 2003 **** – Phone number lists as coming from Ballycastle, Northern Ireland.


walter halperin: Such tremendous love and devotion expressed between two people who have never met. Is there any precedent? Barret & Browning? I'm afraid it's a recipe for disappointment. The suspense is building.

donnavannormanApr 25 A phone call tomorrow?! donnavannormanApr 25 A phone call tomorrow?! Mama is battling arrhythmia....


From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, May 21, at 10:26 AM

Subject: Matters of the heart

To: Lyn Coffin <>

..Mama is battling arrhythmia....

Oh Lyn, it was really nice speaking with you even though it was very short and you were smart enough to notice the distressed feeling. Well that's because Mama's health has been a source of serious worry for me. Her health is not improving, she has been battling with arrhythmia; the doctor said it seriously affects how well her heart works, that her heart has not been able to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs, so the hospital has used an electronic device to give an electric shock to the heart; this helps reestablish normal contraction rhythms in the heart. I just can't stop praying for her.

When I woke up today it seemed like the time is not passing. Like the days are too long, the nights too sad when I'm far from you. Your absence is my only evil. You wouldn't believe the distress I've been bearing these days, sometimes I become so anxious no one with me can stand me at all. When reciprocated, love is what it is, a huge pleasure that enraptures and inebriates, vulgar and refined at the same time. What is hard about love is the distance, but when this separation is temporary as when in an ordinary business trip, the hope of seeing you again soon snaps me out of it and invigorates me.

Lyn, I read each of your mails many times and every one of them reassures me that LIFE IS GOOD. You fill my heart with love and happiness, somehow I get scared too.... I just want to be sure this is real. This is a feeling I've not had in a long time. Thank you so much my love.

I'm hopeful that all will be fine, I just need to be around mama. So, I can hear what she will say when she wakes up. Darling please take care of yourself for me and put her in your prayers, I don't want you to get worried. Okay? Promise me you won't. I need to go now, I'll check back later for your mail. I love you my Lady. I'll cook lovely meals for you just the way you'll love them. We will make a perfect match.

With Love from Austin

Ps: I took a picture of her this morning and it's attached to this mail. Pray for her.



how you feel is how you feel....

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 21, at 11:20 AM

Subject: Stacking up love

To: Austin Nissan <>

Bless you, Austin. I feel very reassured. I am so sorry your mother’s health is so bad. I loved the way you said “sometimes I become so anxious no one with me can stand me at all.” That made me smile. Not to think of your being anxious, but the way you put it— If I were there, I know I could stand you. (:-)

I know, I know, the feeling of being scared. The feeling of wanting to be sure this is real. Your mother is in my prayers, insofar as I pray in specifics. I got worried because you mentioned that your mother was in Scotland at the beginning, and then you were in Dublin, but going down to Lancashire, and then your call was listed as coming in from Balmoral Castle (not that exactly) or someplace in North Ireland. And so the wild weird scenarios started. I am glad ours is an ordinary separation, an ordinary business trip. Yes, and it does feel like “the hope of seeing you again” when really it’s the hope of seeing you.

The phone call was so strange. So short, and I couldn’t (still can’t, really) put the voice with the pictures and the words. I think I just need to hear it more. Or if that’s too difficult when you’re far away, maybe when you get back home, we could just talk for a few hours on the phone. It is wild to have this much connection without the “normal” channels of sight and sound. And I realized today how big a part sound plays. I don’t know you at all in sound.

But none of this matters, really. I am so so so grateful to you for writing as I asked. I feel much much better now, almost totally reassured. One of the worrisome thoughts which went through my mind was the thought that I send you so many emails, and some not far apart at all, and they seem(ed) to me disjointed when I looked back. I worried what you might think of me, writing in one tonality one time, and then a different tonality only a short time later. But when I’m writing you, I feel connected as now. Your voice wasn’t at all the way I imagined it. It was a lovely voice, though, very pleasant. A voice I liked and could get used to hearing often. But it didn’t seem to go with the emails or the pictures. In a way, I was glad you hung up so quickly. To speak with you impersonally- “Hi, how’s your day doing? What are you up to? Me, I don’t know-“ seemed ridiculous. But to speak as we have spoken here seemed wrong. As though you would be speaking to a stranger on the phone and say- “I long for my sweetheart. Do you mind if I talk to you as though you were that sweetheart. Okay- I miss you so much, my darling….” But it was good the ice was broken on that front.

Sweetheart. Your email lifted my heart right out of the doldrums. I want you to know that you can call me any time- day or night.

I also want you to know that I would fly to be with you, even now, though I fear it would make everything that much more confusing and maybe stressful for you. This is not how lovers are supposed to meet (oh, that sounded wonderful to my inner ear- lovers) in the middle of a business trip, with a mother very sick. But you judge it for yourself. I will come to where you are and follow your instructions, if you think that would be helpful, and not another factor to juggle. You should think about this only from the standpoint of what would help you. You are in a very difficult time, a time of crisis. I was a therapist for a decade and I know that weddings and new relationships are very wonderful, and very stressful. So you have three major stress factors operating now- your mother’s illness, your new relationship with me, and the important business deal, and they are all coming at once and at a time when you are not at home, not on your home turf.

I can’t promise you I won’t get worried, but I can promise you that I will struggle hard against it, and that I will let you know if I am feeling worried. You put everything so beautifully and accurately- You fill my heart with your “stacked up” love and happiness, and that is so scary. And how can you/ I be sure this is real until we are together? During the phone call, I realized that when I see you at the airport (my heart soars when it thinks of that), our conversation will probably be very awkward. The more we are able to talk before then, the better. But, again, let me know if you want me to come, tell me where to come, and I’ll come.

I think we will, we have, made a perfect match. And much though we both want this to be real, to be together in the real world, for a while it’s going to feel strange. Reality is not our home country yet- the ethereal world of the internet is where we have met. I am so glad we met, sweetheart. I am sort of addicted to your emails. Every time I get one, I feel great for hours and hours, and then the craving comes in again, and the insecurity starts nibbling like a small mouse with a cracker.

I don’t know what I’m saying any more, which is a good place to stop. If we meet any place but Seattle, we will give ourselves another “non reality” factor to deal with, but how you feel is how you feel. I would be glad to wait with you at the hospital. I worked many years at a hospice. I’m good at hospital waiting. Your mother’s care is largely out of your hands, so focus if you can on your own care. Ask yourself all the time- What would make me feel better? and do that. Here in the ethereal world, our correspondence is real, our love is real, and we will learn

how to negotiate from here to the real real world, the cold and damp earth, as you once described it. I look forward to going to the Azores with you, and I’m not entirely sure where they are. (:-) Please close your eyes for me now- I want to kiss your eyelids.

Loving you, thanking you-


  • Lyn Coffin

Updated: May 5

TINDER 30 evidence of icebergs..

From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 21, at 11:25 AM

Subject: volumes

To: Austin Nissan <>

The picture speaks volumes (I just now saw it)- I pray for her, and for you, too, dear Austin.


From: Lyn Coffin <>

Date: Tue, May 21, at 6:22 PM

Subject: Tenderness for you

To: Austin Nissan <>

How are you, my love?

I feel you over there. I think it is a miracle we have gotten to where we are so quickly, and all through words on a screen. We are in uncharted waters, but I don't see any evidence of icebergs. That dark mass looming up over there? Just a seal. We have done maybe not all but most of the words. Our nervous smiles will cover a lot of ground. A mere casual (to the passerby) touch will convey what we cannot put into words when we are together. An ordinary business trip. An amazing correspondence.

How is your mother? Are you with her in that room with all the machines? You are brave, though scared, and I - at the moment- am fearless. Tell me how to help you. Tell me how to reach you- I hope just knowing I will come to you if need arises should ease your heart. And if you/ we are root irked or too distressed for desire, what does that matter? I lived what you said about the vulgar and the refined. It would be wonderful to be with you under whatever circumstances. I miss you, and look forward at the very least, to being scared together. Or being casual and mundane together. I will even try to cook for you right at the outset, if that will ease your distressed heart. And what a great blessing that you have been with your mother in all of this, though I know it must feel like a burden. We are real beings and we have met here in the starry distances of Internet space.

Calm tenderness for you, my dear one


Ps Do you have a certain prayer- Hail Mary? Our Father? you would like me to say?

I want to share one of my poems that I wrote the morning I learned my mother had died. Some people have found it comforting. May it comfort you.

I’m wondering if maybe God brought us together now, to help you in this difficult hour.

With tender respect and abiding love, dear man of my heart-



In memory of Susan Sims and Richard Guild Coffin

There was once a magic music box. You didn't have to wind it or open its lid. If you so much as looked at it, or in its direction, it would begin to play. The song was short and rather simple, but mysterious too, because it had never been written down, and never could be. And the song you heard was different from the song your friend or neighbor heard, even if they were standing next to you in the same room, listening. Because the box was so clearly magical, the melody so beautiful, it seemed destined to last forever. And then one day, the box began to disintegrate. The sandalwood went first, crumbling to a powder, an ash, a fine gray nothing. Then the brasswork started to lose its distinction- the pieces curled back and lost each other in themselves, in the kind of melting that is cool to the touch. Finally, the box was gone- only the mechanism remained. And everyone marveled because, still, if you so much as looked at it, or in its direction, it would start to play. The song was short and rather simple, but mysterious too, because it had never been written down, and never would be, and the song you heard was different from the song your child or parent heard, even if they were standing next to you in the same room, listening. And then one day, the mechanism itself slowly disappeared, crumbling to a powder, an ash, a fine gray nothing. And it was really only then- tomorrow, yesterday, today- that the true gift was finally revealed. For anyone having known that music had only to look where the box had been or remember it in his heart of hearts, and he heard the melody again, more clearly than before... Brothers and sisters, listen and say if this is not so... The song we hear is short and rather simple, but mysterious too, because it has never been written down, and never will be. We are listening now and forever, and the song we hear is the same.


...Austin pictured by the pool....

From: Austin Nissan <>

Date: Tue, May 22, at 5:06 AM

Subject: Music of our hearts

To: Lyn Coffin <>

Subject: Re: Up in the small hours

Wow! What a wonderful way to rest my mind when so much seems to be going through it. I read that write up and I can tell for sure that I felt it deep inside my mind. Wow ! That's so beautiful. Lyn, you capture my heart like no one else and I believe if we look in the same direction, the music of our heart will play because our hearts make up the magic box.

Lyn, yesterday after sending you my mail, I went out to get somethings done but this time around not just in the hospital, I had to connect with the tax consultant but hopefully the bulk of it is behind me for another year. I have to file tax returns in US and here for the Mama's investments, just completed in US before I left. So, when I came back in the evening, I went to Church and while I was in the church, I kept thinking of you and my new world with you. I listed many things I wanted to do with you and our lives could be happy together.

Thank you so much for your prayers. You bring life to my soul and I'll hold this feeling for a long time to come. I have some of her friends visiting us today in the hospital because she should be going back to her house in few days, hopefully on Monday. Her 78th birthday is tomorrow and we wanted to take her home today just so we don't celebrate it here in the hospital but the doctor said we should give her some time to recover. We might end up celebrating it here.

My love, I just want to make you laugh, I just want to make you smile, I just want to see you happy, that's what makes my heart smile. You don't know how I feel when I read your mails and I know you feel love for me. It makes me just want to love you. Baby, I want you, I want us to have peace. I love you, maybe you me, remember. we are all here just for a little while, peace and love can conquer almost anything. I know some times you feel alone, but you're never alone, because God loves you so much that he sent a guardian angel to watch over you. Your guardian angel is there always, giving you support and leading you in the right direction when you're feeling lost. Your guardian angel will help you find your dreams and lend you the strength you need when the times get rough. You've only to ask and your guardian angel will help you. Even though I'm far away from home and you. I know this angel watches over you for me till I'm back.

Today I went to Mama's house to swim, so I can relax my mind...she has a big pool. I sent you some pictures, hope you like them?



Nice abs. Also nice pool ...mama is clearly not lumpenproletariat.. Both Lyn & Austin are generous with protestations of love and longing. It's all very gratifying and wonderful and one hopes it will turn out well. But nothing seems to be changing. Perhaps it's time for a train wreck or at least a volcanic eruption, something to jolt our epistolary lovers off center and move the plot in a new direction. Or perhaps entrance of a 3rd party. Kelly? Lyn Coffin a day ago I think you're right. Time for a train wreck. Sometimes train wrecks don't arrive on schedule. I said this novella was "semi-autobiographical"? It's all (alas) autobiographical. Thanks again for your comments. Í, too, am longing for the train wreck1


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