Which is - you know, like check it out, I'm pretty young, I'm only about 40 years old. I still have maybe another four decades of work left in me. And it's exceedingly likely that anything I write from this point forward is going to be judged by the world as the work that came after the freakish success of my last book, right?
I should just put it bluntly, because we're all sort of friends here now - it's exceedingly likely that my greatest success is behind me. Oh, so Jesus, what a thought! You know that's the kind of thought that could lead a person to start drinking gin at nine o'clock in the morning, and I don't want to go there.
When I look at my life and the lives of my female friends these days - with our dizzying number of opportunities and talents - I sometimes feel as though we are all mice in a giant experimental maze, scurrying around frantically, trying to find our way through.
I love my friends and family, but I also love it when they can't find me and I can spend all day reading or walking all alone, in silence, eight thousand miles away from everyone. All alone and unreachable in a foreign country is one my most favorite possible things to be.
I've come to realize that the contemporary creative culture is not generating the best possible outcome.
I used to say, 'Man, I think I'd be a really good dad. I'll be a great provider. I'm funny; I'll go on trips with them - I'll do all sorts of stuff.' But the momming? I'm not made for that. I have a really good mom; I know what she put into it.
When I diagnose my depression now, I think it was partially about saying goodbye to these kids that I always expected to have but already knew that I wouldn't.
I am far more of a loner than people would imagine. But I am the most gregarious and socially interactive loner you ever met. The thing is, I am fascinated by people's stories and I'm very talkative and can't ever say no to anything or anyone, so I tend to over-socialize, to give away too much of my time to the many people I adore.
Now, if you are like me - if you are like practically anybody in America - then you probably hold some negative opinions about the French, based upon movies, rumors, recent headlines, unfortunate run-ins with Parisian waiters, or... you know... all that unpleasantness surrounding the Vichy regime.
And we have a little herb garden, which survived the winter thanks to global warming. It makes me feel like a cool, old Italian housewife, that I kept my rosemary alive outside all winter.
You know, I think that allowing somebody, one mere person to believe that he or she is like, the vessel you know, like the font and the essence and the source of all divine, creative, unknowable, eternal mystery is just a smidge too much responsibility to put on one fragile, human psyche. It's like asking somebody to swallow the sun.
I don't hate humanity and I'm not interested in people who do. Although, it's funny, actually, some of my favorite writers really do. Like Martin Amis. My dirty secret. 'London Fields' is one of my favorite books ever. And it's indefensible! But he's so funny... I forgive him everything.
But when it comes to writing the thing that I've sort of been thinking about lately, is why? You know, is it rational? Is it logical that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this Earth to do.
I think it's unfortunate that there exists only one path in America to complete social legitimacy, and that is marriage. I think, for instance, that it would be far easier for Americans to elect a black president or a female president than an unmarried president.
If life gives you lemons, don't settle for simply making lemonade - make a glorious scene at a lemonade stand.
There's no reason to keep a piece of furniture in your house that is so sacred and rare that you can't put your feet up on it and a dog can't jump up on it. Likewise, a book that sits on a shelf like a piece of porcelain, only to be admired, never to be read again, is a dead book.
I think sometimes we look at other people's marriages and we think they must always be so happy together. I don't know anybody who's married for a long time who hasn't somehow made room in their love story for the hate and resentment that they sometimes feel toward each other.
I know I'm not a self-indulgent idiot; I also know I'm not the second coming of Deepak Chopra. If I had believed either of those, or both, as some people do when they get famous, that's when the mental illness arrives.
My career started young and I was really ambitious, and then I had success and I hung out with people who were much older. I think I might have been temporally misplaced, so I thought I was 40. It was a premature midlife crisis.
I push every day against forces that say you have to go faster, be more effective, be more productive, you have to constantly outdo yourself, you have to constantly outdo your neighbor - all of the stuff that creates an incredibly productive society, but also a very neurotic one.