The first thing I said when I moved here was that time moves differently. Said everything goes faster but takes longer. Said people walk with their heads down. Said what is isolation?
I found Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick months before I came to New York. And I have emails that say: I am about to read a book that will change my life. Or: I can’t stop crying. Or: this is the book I want to write. It must have the cover, the vulnerability of the language, or the distant setting that drew me in. It must have been the font or the first few words: It is June. It is June and I’ve never thought of this month before. It is June and I will die in August. It is June and I am immersed. But I picked up the book and I underlined and cursed and I couldn’t read it all at once. I take the book with me from shelf to shelf in city to city. I poise it carefully between two elephant bookends. I close and reopen. It is June.