I realize then that it’s not enough to know what someone is called. You have to know who they are.
For in some ways the world was like a shopping centre, and he himself was a doubtful customer, often ineffectual, being talked into buying things he didn’t want, things indeed which nobody in their right mind would want to buy.
At the end of time I want my art to stand up and my soul to bow down.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
I was not one man only but the steady advance hour after hour of an army in close formation, in which there appeared, according to the moment, impassioned men, indifferent men, jealous men.
Who were these people, these specially selected tenants? They were mothers and fathers and children. A dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge. And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake.
But then it came to me that who I really am is a person who doesn’t need to know who he really is, in the usual sense. What does it mean, anyway – family background and so forth? People use it mostly as an excuse for their own snobbery, or else their failings. I’m free of the temptation, that’s all. I’m free of the strings. Nothing ties me down.
I wont stop working until my name become a Verb.
I felt like no one was really looking out for me, that I was marginal and incidental. I compensated by being spongelike, impressionable, and available to whatever and whoever provided the most comfort, the most sense of belonging. I was learning two sets of skills simultaneously: adaptation – linguistic and aesthetic – in order to fit in, but also, how to survive on my own.
We fluff them and fold them and nudge them and enhance them and bind them and break them and embellish them beyond measure; then, as we drive them up to the college interviews that they’ve heard since birth are the gateway to the lives they were destined to lead based on nothing more than our own need for it to be true, we tell them, with a smile so tight it would crack nuts, ‘Just be yourself.