‘Even paranoiacs,” said the truly paranoid poet

Delmore Schwartz,

“have real enemies.” I am neither a poet nor a paranoid, but I believe I have real enemies. I refer to the various people who call on both my landline and cellphone and send me bogus emails, all in the hope of cheating me out of money. Unlike the ultra-Orthodox Jewish private detective who was said to be on the case 24/6, these people work 24/7. I have had phone calls from some among them as early as 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and as late as 11:20 p.m. on a Sunday night.

The other day, opening my computer, I was greeted by an announcement, pretending to be from Amazon, asking if I had really purchased an $899


television set that had been charged to my account. Since I hadn’t, the query, which came in with a Gmail address, was meant to send me into a panic about the scoundrel who had been buying things under my…

Read more…