Issue 123, Summer 1992
Brandauer had Tuna Fish for lunch every day of the nine years I knew him. Sometimes on rye toast, sometimes on white bread, sometimes with a Coke, sometimes with a small glass of milk. Not a full size glass: the half sizes kids drink from. It took him about twelve minutes and he was ready to go back to work.
We met the year my second book was published—the one written with vanishing ink. I was also working as a rep for a production company which specialized in the fancy avantgarde commercials which were then in style. That was the year applause began to come to Brandauer, late and sudden. When it grew to a crescendo a few years later, while nothing much was happening in what we laughingly called my literary career, he felt a statement was called for. “Don’t get too excited,” he said. “And don’t envy me. Coming at this time in my life, these honors are like rocks falling on my head.” He was fifty-six, tall and lean as a panther. A grizzled Jewish Panther of the writing jungle. I didn’t believe his disclaimer then; nobody did. Later it was another matter.