When her muzzle grew more white than brown, the chipmunk forgot that she and the squirrel had had nothing to talk about. She forgot the definition of "jazz" as well and came to think of it as every beautiful thing she had ever failed to appreciate: the taste of warm rain; the smell of a baby; the din of a swollen river, rushing past her tree and onward to infinity.
She's afraid to tell me anything important, knowing I'll only turn around and write about it. In my mind, I'm like a friendly junkman, building things from the little pieces of scrap I find here and there, but my family's started to see things differently. Their personal lives are the so-called pieces of scrap I so casually pick up, and they're sick of it. More and more often their stories begin with the line "You have to swear you'll never repeat this." I always promise, but it's generally understood that my word means nothing.
Watching him was like opening the door to a siniging telegram; you know it's supposed to be entertaining, but you can't get beyond the sad fact that this person actually thinks he bringing some joy into your life. Somewhere he had a mother who sifted through a shoe box of mimeographed playbills, pouring herself another drink and wondering when her son would come to his senses and swallow some drain cleaner.
The good thing about being gay, though, I always believed, is that you didn't make anyone go to a wedding. Nobody wants to go to a wedding. Nobody. It kind of bothers me now that you have to go to gay weddings, too. I don't care. It's still a wedding. And I would give anybody double gifts if they would elope.
I am a person who feels guilty for crimes I have not committed, or have not committed in years. The police search the train station for a serial rapist and I cover my face with a newspaper, wondering if maybe I did it in my sleep. The last thing I stole was an eight-track tape, but to this day I'm unable to enter a store without feeling like a shoplifter. It's all the anxiety with none of the free stuff.
It's a common mistake for vacationing Americans to assume that everyone around them is French and therefore speaks no English whatsoever. [...] An experienced traveler could have told by looking at my shoes that I wasn't French. And even if I were French, it's not as if English is some mysterious tribal dialect spoken only by anthropologists and a small population of cannibals.
I'm not afraid to write about madness. I always figure that whatever most embarrasses you is something that everyone can relate to, really...because we're just not that different. So if you think, 'Oh my god, this is so embarrassing. I can't possibly talk about that,' and you write about it, the audience is gonna be like, 'that happened to me!