Playboy College Fiction Contest Winner 1999
In 1999, I was a senior majoring in English literature at Rutgers University, with a concentration in creative writing. The Date was my second submission to Playboy; I had tried the previous year with a story about a NASA shuttle mission and astronauts getting it on in zero gravity. (It was not as good.) Somehow, under the onslaught of plodding through melancholy emo stories of student life generated by my classmates, I managed to find my way to this dark comedy. The inspiration was a Dateline NBC story about conjoined 10-year-old twins living in the Midwest, and thriving despite their condition. I was a big fan of the girls, cheering them on for making lemonade out of life's lemons. I remember being grateful that my problems did not come that big and that I should be more of a doer and less of a complainer. I also remember thinking, "things would get a lot harder once those girls hit puberty, though." Duh! And of course, it clicked. I hit the computer like a force of nature for the next three days--and here we are.