The Writer never arrived. I did. I stopped waiting for the moment when I would know what to say. I realized later that I’m not supposed to know what to say. I’m writing to find out what needs to be written. And not only in my fiction. This post, my tweets, marginalia, revision notes, who knows what any of them are supposed to do or be, but they get done, and not by some writer. It’s just me. Me, with the holes in my socks and the laundry in the washer and a pile of Legos between my feet.
I asked him did he really love New York or was he just wearing the shirt. He smiled, like he was nervous. I could tell he didn’t understand, which made me feel guilty for speaking English, for some reason. I pointed at his shirt. “Do? You? Really? Love? New York?” He said, “New York?” I said, “Your. Shirt.” He looked at his shirt. I pointed at the N and said “New,” and the Y and said “York.” He looked confused, or embarrassed, or surprised, or maybe even mad. I couldn’t tell what he was feeling, because I couldn’t speak the language of his feelings. “I not know was New York. In Chinese, ny mean ‘you.’ Thought was ‘I love you.’ ” It was then that I noticed the “I♥NY” poster on the wall, the “I♥NY” flag over the door, and the “I♥NY” dishtowels, and the “I♥NY” lunchbox on the kitchen table. I asked him, “Well, then why do you love everybody so much?”
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
If you’re looking for sympathy you’ll find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.
David Sedaris (Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays)