I'm interested in such things as the difference between how we perceive the world and what the world turns out to be. The difference is between the stories we tell others and the stories we tell ourselves. There is a wonderful Russian saying, which I use as the epigraph of one of my novels, which goes, He lies like an eyewitness. Which is very sly, clever and true.
When you are in your twenties, even if you're confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later.. later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more backtracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches.
I'm one of those writers who started off writing novels and came to writing short stories later, partly because I didn't have the right ideas, partly because I think that short stories are more difficult. I think learning to write short stories also made me attracted toward a paring down of the novel form.
I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory.
I remember laughing with relief that the same old adolescent boredom goes on from generation to generation. ...the words took me back to my own years of stagnancy, and that terrible waiting for life to begin. [p. 68]