When you started writing, in high school or college, it wasn’t out of a wish to be published, or to be successful, or even to win a lovely award… It was in response to the wondrousness and humiliation of being alive.
Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in sadness, joy, or regret. Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, the happiness that attends disaster. Or: the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy. I’d like to show how intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members connects with the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age. I’d like to have a word for the sadness inspired by failing restaurants as well as for the excitement of getting a room with a minibar. I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.