Ten days after Ms. Gould wrote about “Adrien Brody,” a version of the story surfaced in The Hairpin’s anonymous advice column. The letter writer had recently learned that her boyfriend of four years had had a one-time encounter with another woman.
“In a digital-age twist,” she wrote, “I found out about this because the woman mentioned my boyfriend in her blog, and a blogger I follow happened to mention it.”
The letter writer’s problem was not her boyfriend’s infidelity, exactly. He had been honest when confronted. Nonetheless, she was “consumed” by “visions” of the other woman’s account. She thought young the woman was “unstable” and had written the story with the direct intent of her seeing it.
“Any tips on how I can get her out of my mind?” she asked.
It’s easy to understand why the girlfriend—reduced, in Ms. Calloway’s account, to a couple of nail polishes in Mr. Brody’s apartment—would want to have a say in all this. The letter exhibited one of the paradoxes of life online: Internet exhibitionism, painful as it can be, often begets more Internet exhibitionism.
Of course, there’s no proof that the anonymous letter had anything to do with “Adrien Brody.” But after a reporter placed calls about the letter, it was removed by The Hairpin.
With writing like Ms. Calloway’s, it’s tempting to believe that there is some sort of feminist impulse at work, that she derives power from humiliating men with her sexuality, the same tool they used to objectify her. But most of her subjects—she’s done it more than once—were complicit, willing, and even flattered. Adrien Brody knew he might be written about when and Ms. Calloway hopped in a cab back to his apartment, he just didn’t want it to be Google-able.
Not even Mr. Lin was totally immune to the glamour bestowed by the literary gaze of a mysterious young woman.
Soon after “Adrien Brody” was published, he emailed Ms. Calloway. If she could pay her way, she was welcome to stay with him in his hotel room in Paris from December 4 to December 6. She would cover the trip, and he’d reimburse her for half after the story was published. “I’ll help you find a venue,” he offered.
Nothing came of the idea. Mr. Lin soon changed his mind, according to Ms. Calloway, saying it would be too stressful. He was in a really social mood that day and generally isn’t like that.
Follow Kat Stoeffel via RSS.