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" I had a beautiful childhood and a lovely childhood. I just didn't like being a child. I didn't like the rank injustice of not being listened to. I didn't like the lack of autonomy. "
" I'm anti-religious. I don't like people telling me what to do. "
" I'm not sure. But that bless-his/her-heart kind of melancholic humor is among my favorite things in the world. I guess it exposes a kind of humanity - or that's the hope, at least - a kind of grudging respect for human frailty. Unless it's actually kicking human frailty while it's down - I'm not sure. "
" At least three times a week, I am overwhelmed with a wave of gratitude to New York City for providing me with a life. Not that my life is so great, although I think it's pretty nifty: I don't mine coal; I get paid to write. "
" I don't particularly consider myself an actor. I have no training. I love doing it, but I would never consider myself to be a colleague of an actual actor. That would be stepping way up in class on my part. "
" If you don't have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories. "
" I aspire to write what are called 'familiar essays.' They begin in the personal and end in the universal. It's not for me to say if I have been successful at it. But that is the hope. "
" Before I sat down and became a writer, before I began to do it habitually and for my living, there was a decades-long stretch when I was terrified that it would suck, so I didn't write. I think that marks a lot of people, a real terror at being bad at something, and unfortunately, you are always bad before you can get a little better. "
" I am the world's worst reporter. I am apt to try too hard to help rather than just document my subjects. "
" Fantastic days are what you wish upon those who have so few sunrises left, those whose lungs are so lesion-spangled with new cancer that they should be embracing as much life as they can. Time's a-wasting, go out and have yourself a fantastic day! Fantastic days are for goners. "
" Arts and crafts, or getting to be in a play with people, or making a little short film, that's pure sugar, because the stakes are so low. "
" I can see a great beauty in acknowledging the fact that the world is dark. "
" Central to living a life that is good is a life that's forgiving. We're creatures of contact, regardless of whether we kiss or we wound. "
" The rigors of creativity - the self-doubt, the revising, the solitude - do require a kind of self-consumption. It comes at a cost; a cost that isn't for everyone. "
" I do tend to be an anxious fellow, and I do tend to see the world as a little darker than perhaps it genuinely is, but I also do appreciate much more than a rosy scenario, I appreciate straight news. I appreciate honesty. "
" When people give you a writing assignment, they're asking what you think. That's the very opposite of being an actor. When you're an actor, no one wants to hear what you think. "
" I cannot escape the feeling that I was, at best, a cancer tourist, that my survival means I dabbled. "
" Everybody's got something. In the end, what choice does one really have but to understand that truth, to really take it in, and then shop for groceries, get a haircut, do one's work; get on with the business of one's life. That's the hope, anyway. "
" Altruism is innate, but it's not instinctual. Everybody's wired for it, but a switch has to be flipped. "
" There is nothing so cleansing or reassuring as a vicarious sadness. "
" I have let half-decades elapse between books because books have to be writte and writing is awful, but if you are the type of person who makes things, there is no profit in worrying about how or why or when the next project will come into being beyond simply acknowledging that it is inevitable that it will be very soon. "
" Let's face it: professing a deep interest in movies, the absolutely dominant global art form of the last century, is at this point like professing an interest in air. Passion is nice. Erudition is admirable. But it's like that moment when good manners cross over into meaningless etiquette. "
" Unless one is planning to go shopping - basically begging to be smothered by the ravening throngs of returners and bargain hunters; an embrace as constricting as that hugging machine designed by autistic author Temple Grandin - then Boxing Day feels like a bar after last call when the lights have been turned up. "
" My salvation lies in time spent alone with an X-Acto knife and commercial-grade adhesive. "
" There's nothing particularly wrong with being more pessimistic than optimistic. Optimism is broad-based, non-detail-oriented thinking; pessimism is detail-oriented thinking. "
" I was going to say that writing is about disclosure and acting is about obfuscation, but that's such a little lie. Both of them are about obfuscation and masking oneself. "
" Those weeks before diagnosis can be among the most torturous times. There is a reason you're called a patient once the plastic bracelet goes on. "
" I will forever be grateful to my oncologist for opening the door and saying, 'Damn it, the tumor's 10 percent bigger,' before he even said hello. "
" I do not go outdoors... As far as I'm concerned, the whole point of living in New York City is indoors. You want greenery? Order the spinach. "
" Pessimists are born, true, but they also can be made. "
" It's the false moral component behind blind animal love that so frosts me. The faulty logic that believes that the capacity to adore a nonhuman creature is somehow a purer form of love. "