I like writing in dialog as a way of exploring things. If there is truth or accuracy in representation it's complex, an interplay as all things human are, a lot of sides to everything. And if you say one thing one day, get it down, then the next day you feel differently about it, that there is another angle to catch, which perhaps speaks to a Buddhist concept of the illusion of ego, the ever-changing quality of everything.
I probably don't belong in a city. There's something… Maybe Natalie Merchant, how did she put it, like "who was I kidding?" She couldn't pass someone eating garbage and not want to do something about it. Maybe that speaks of my basic problem. People have told me as much. Small town, too kind, or simply, 'you don't belong here, I don't see you here.'
And it was true. What was I doing here. I mean, yeah, moving to a big city sounds like a fine idea, New York, sure. Who wouldn't want to live there, all the culture, all the fine stuff... I didn't realize how much I was encountering the city's influence even in the bucolic setting where I was lucky enough to go to school. People were ambitious, opinionated, striving in a way I simply wasn't, aggressive… and yeah, I'm sure people like that don't really like dealing with people like me, without becoming irritated, confused by such idiotic behavior such as I can barely even understand myself sometimes. I should have known then. I half pretended I belonged there, and you could get away with it because there was a lot of countryside there and all the small ways to find a shelter in reading, learning about something.
Well, what options do you have outside the city? Where do you belong? What can you do so you won't go crazy? How, where, to find your own life?
I guess that's why I like Chekhov stories, like The Steppe, the long one about a boy making a long trip to stay with a relative and go to school, or that one about the waiter who slips on some peas and injures himself such that he has to go back to the hovel where he's from. That's a human story.
And I know, if you say something true, at least partially, well, you're getting a leg up on something, making a small advancement.