By definition, memoir demands a certain degree of introspection and self-disclosure: In order to fully engage a reader, the narrator has to make herself known, has to allow her own self-awareness to inform the events she describes.
On the broad spectrum of solitude, I lean toward the extreme end: I work alone, as well as live alone, so I can pass an entire day without uttering so much as a hello to another human being. Sometimes a day's conversation consists of only five words, uttered at the local Starbucks: 'Large coffee with milk, please.
American companies spend more than $200 billion each year hacking women's bodies into bits and pieces, urging comparisons between self and other, linking value to air-brushed ideals, and as the girls in my seventh-grade class graduated to high school and beyond, the imagery around us would only grow more specific, more pummeling, more insidious.
Dogs have such short life spans, it's like a concentrated version of a human life. When they get older, they become much more like our mothers. They wait for us, watch out for us, are completely fascinated by everything we do.
Around the time I began starving, in the early eighties, the visual image had begun to supplant text as culture's primary mode of communication, a radical change because images work so differently than words: They're immediate, they hit you at levels way beneath intellect, they come fast and furious.
Cats are narcissistic. Their needs come before ours. They don't understand the word "No." They carry themselves with that aloof, arrogant sense of perpetual entitlement, they will jump up and insinuate themselves wherever they please--on your lap, on your newspaper, on your computer keyboard--and they really couldn't care less how their behavior affects the people in their lives. I've had boyfriends like this; who needs such behavior in a housepet?