The Angel used to own tech companies, but he exited. Twice. Now he invests. He was in New York on his way to a small island nation in the Caribbean where he was building a house.
I had a story going to print and was frantically checking my phone for the final copy; he was scheduling dinner plans and wildly eyeballing his phone for an itinerary.
Angel: So what’s this story about?
Me: I write about billionaires, dynastic wealth.
Angel: I had a trust fund. Loved it.
Was he joking?
Me: Tell me about this dream home?
Angel: I went kitesurfing there last winter. Loved it.
Me: I hate winter too. I spend every February in Hawaii.
Angel: I need to leave the country six months a year to avoid federal taxes.
Of course I know better than to expect my dates to agree with me politically. The only people standing to the left of me are shouting at themselves on the subway, twitching and drooling. But there’s disagreement and then there are morally bankrupt political choices.
The Angel was cute, my age, and technically Jewish. I could put politics aside for a guy who satisfied so many criteria, couldn’t I?
Me: What’s your beef against the government?
Angel: Just the federal government, the states are great. We need roads and social services. I’m a Democrat, and I hate paying for stupid wars.
Me: The federal government is mostly a pension fund, you know.
It is not important for me to agree with my partner, but I do need room to tell my story. The safety net has saved my life more than once — not to mention the lives of everyone I love. How could I explain who I am — could it even be safe to try — if the Angel has no shared sense of civic obligation?
Still, a girl has to be polite.
Angel: The vast majority of the federal budget is spent on defense.
Me: You’re wrong. It’s an insurance company that happens to have an army. That’s what my boyfriend Paul Krugman says, and he has a Nobel Prize.
So that went well.
Angel: States deliver social services and I’m all about that. Like, have you noticed New York doesn’t have the homeless problem San Francisco has?
Me: We cull. It’s called winter. We have no feral cat problem either. You go to the Caribbean. Homeless people and cats die.
The Angel’s New York existed below 14th street, in heated cabs and on the high floors of skyscrapers.
Me: Where are you from again?
Angel: Outside of Boston. Love to ski.
Me: South Side of Chicago. Love to shoot 6-year-olds.
Also tax scofflaws.
I would have gone out with him again but he never called.