Do you consider the bookto be autobiographical?
Well, I mean...
...isn't everything autobiographical?
I mean, we all see the worldthrough our own tiny keyhole, right?
I mean, I always thinkof Thomas Wolfe.
Have you ever seen that littleone-page " Note to Reader"...
...in the frontof Look Homeward, Angel?
Well, you know what I'm talking about?
Anyway, he says that we are the sumof all the moments of our lives...
...and that anybody who sits down to writewill use the clay of their own life...
...that you can't avoid that.
So when I look at my own life,you konw I have to admit, right, that l--
I've never been around a bunch of gunsor violence, you know, not really.
No political intrigueor a helicopter crash, right?
But my life, from my own point of view,has been full of drama, right?
And so I thought,if I could write a book...
...that could capture what it's liketo really meet somebody--
One of the most exciting thingsthat's happened to me...
...is to meet somebody,make that connection.
And if I could make that valuable,you know, to capture that...
...that would be the attempt, or....
Well, I always kind of wantedto write a book...
...that all took placewithin the space of a pop song.
Like three or four minutes long,the whole thing.
The story, the idea,is that there's this guy, right...
...and he's totally depressed.
His great dream was to be a lover,an adventurer, you know...
...riding motorcyclesthrough South America.
And instead he's sittingat a marble table eating lobster.
He's got a good job anda beautiful wife, right, but that--
Everything that he needs.But that doesn't matter...
...because what he wantsis to fight for meaning.
You know? Happinessis in the doing, right?
Not in the getting what you want.
So he's sitting there,and just that second...
...his little 5-year-old daughterhops up on the table.
And he knows that she shouldget down, because she could get hurt.
But she's dancing to this pop songin a summer dress.
And he looks down...
...and all of a sudden, he's 1 6.
And his high-school sweetheartis dropping him off at home.
And they just lost their virginity,and she loves him...
...and the same song is playingon the car radio.
And she climbs up and starts dancingon the roof of the car.
And now he's worried about her.
And she's beautiful, with a facialexpression just like his daughter's.
In fact, maybe that's whyhe even likes her.
You see, he knows he's notremembering this dance...
...he's there. He's there,in both moments, simultaneously.
And just for an instant,all his life is just folding in on itself.
And it's obvious to himthat time is a lie.
That it's all happening all the time...
...and inside every momentis another moment...
...all happening simultaneously.
Anyway, that's kind of the idea.Anyway.
- 我怀念美国的很多事- 是吗，比如？
-There's lots of things I miss in the U.S.-Yeah? Like what?
The overall good moodpeople have there.
Like, even if it can bebullshit sometimes.
Like, "How you doing? " "Great.""How you doing? " "Great!"
"Have a great day!"
In my field, I see these people that--Oh, sorry.
Come into it with big,idealist visions...
...of becoming the new leaderthat will create a better world.
They enjoy the goal,but not the process.
-Right.-But the reality of it is...
- 是啊- 但事实上...
...the true work of improving thingsis in the little achievements.
-That's what you need to enjoy.-What do you mean, exactly?
I was working for this organizationthat helped villages in Mexico.
And their concerns was howto get the pencils...
...sent to the kidin those little country schools.
It was not about big,revolutionary ideas. It was about pencils.
I see the people that do the real work,and what's really sad is that...
...the people that arethe most giving, hardworking...
...and capable of makingthis world better...
...usually don't have the egoand ambition to be a leader.
They don't see any interestin superficial rewards.
They don't care if their nameever appear in the press.
They actually enjoy the processof helping others.
-They're in the moment.-Yeah, but that's so hard...
- 他们自得其乐- 是啊，不过那很难啊！
So, what, are you Buddhist,or something?
- 不是- 不是？为什么不是？
-No.-No? Why not?
I don't know. The same reason I don'treally consider myself anything, really.
I decided a long time ago thatI was gonna be open to everything...
...but not buy into any oneand only belief system.
- 为什么？- 我不知道，没什么，只是...
-Why?-I don't know. Nothing bad, just....
Reading your book, maybe?
No, but-- Thinking of how hopefulI was that summer and fall...
...and since then it's been kind of a....
I don't know.
Memory is a wonderful thing ifyou don't have to deal with the past.
Yeah, I know. I have this memoryfrom my childhood...
- 但是我最近意识到，这段回忆其实从未发生过- 是什么？
-...I realized recently never happened.-What?
Well, when I was 8 or 9,my mom was so paranoid...
...when I was walking homefrom my piano lesson at night...
...she'd warn me about dirty old mengiving me candies...
...and then showing metheir pee-pees.
She was so obsessed with it that,later in life, you know...
...I had this image in my headthat this really happened.
To the point that I even associated sexwith that walk home.
I mean, and sometimes,even now, when I'm....
When I'm having sex, I see myselfwalking down that street.
I swear. It's so weird, right?
-ls that street nearby? I mean, could--?-Could we? No.
- 呃，那条街离这近吗？我是说，能...- 不行
Did you ever keep a journalwhen you were a kid?
Yeah. On and off, I guess.
It's funny, I read one of mine...
-...from '83 the other day.-Yeah?
- 我83年的一本日记- 怎么了
And what really surprised me is...
...that I was dealing with lifethe same way I am now.
I was much more hopeful and naive...
...but the core, and the way I wasfeeling things, is exactly the same.
It made me realizeI haven't changed much at all.
I don't think anybody does.
People don't want to admit it, but it'slike we have these innate set points...
...and nothing much that happens to uschanges our disposition.
- 你是这么想的？- 是的
-You believe that?-I think so.
I read this study where they followedpeople who'd won the lottery...
...and people who'd become paraplegics.
You'd think one extreme is gonna makeyou euphoric and the other suicidal.
But the study shows that,after about six months...
...as soon as people had gotten used totheir new situation...
-...they were, more or less, the same.-The same?
- 他们就和以前差不多一样了- 一样？
Yeah. Like, if they were basicallyan optimistic, jovial person...
...they're now an optimistic, jovialperson in a wheelchair.
If they're a petty, miserable asshole...
...they're a petty, miserable assholewith a new Cadillac, a house and a boat.
So I'll be forever depressedno matter what great things happen?
- 没错！- 好吧
I think that book that I wrotewas like building something...
...so that I wouldn't forget the detailsof the time that we spent together.
You know, like, just as a reminder,that once, we really did meet.
You know, that this was real,this happened.
I'm happy you're saying that,because....
I mean, I always feel like a freak becauseI'm never able to move on like this:
People just have an affair,or even entire relationships...
...they break up and they forget.
They move on like they would havechanged brand of cereals.
I feel I was never able to forgetanyone I've been with...
...because each person had their ownspecific qualities.
You can never replace anyone.What is lost is lost.
Each relationship, when it ends,really damages me. I never fully recover.
That's why I'm very carefulwith getting involved...
...because it hurts too much.
Even getting laid,I actually don't do that...
...because I will miss of the personthe most mundane things.
Like I'm obsessed with little things.
Maybe I'm crazy,but when I was a little girl...
...my mom told methat I was always late to school.
One day she followed me to see why.
I was looking at chestnuts falling fromthe trees, rolling on the sidewalk...
...or ants crossing the road, the waya leaf casts a shadow on a tree trunk.
I think it's the same with people.
I see in them little details,so specific to each of them...
...that move me and that I missand will always miss.
You can never replace anyone...
...because everyone is made of suchbeautiful, specific details.
Like, I remember the way your beardhas a bit of red in it...
...and how the sunwas making it glow...
...that morning right before you left.
I remembered that, and I missed it.
Really crazy, right?
Now I know for sure. You wannaknow why I wrote that stupid book?
-Why?-So you'd come to a reading in Paris...
- 为什么？- 因为这样你就会参加巴黎的一场读者见面会
...and I could walk up to you and ask,"Where the fuck were you? "
No-- You think I'd be here today?
I'm serious. I think I wrote it,in a way, to try to find you.
Oh, God. Why didn't weexchange phone numbers and stuff?
Why didn't we do that?
Because we were young and stupid.
Do you think we still are?
I guess when you're youngyou just believe...
...there'll be many peopleyou'll connect with.
Later in life you realizeit only happens a few times.
And you can screw it up, you know.Misconnect.
The past is the past.It was meant to be that way.
You really believe that?That everything's fated?
Well, you know, the world might beless free than we think.
When given these exact circumstances,that's what will happen every time.
Two part hydrogen, one part oxygen,you'll get water every time.
No, I mean, what if your grandmotherhad lived a week longer, you know?
Or passed away a week earlier?Days, even?
Things might have been different.
-You can't think like that, it's---You shouldn't on most things, but....
- 不，你不能这样想，那只是...- 我知道对于大多数事情来说的确是注定的
It's just, on this one, it seemed likesomething was off, you know.
In the months leading up to my wedding,I was thinking about you all the time.
Even on my way there, I'm in the car, abuddy of mine is driving me downtown...
...and I'm staring out the windowand I think I see you...
...not far from the church, right...
...folding up an umbrellaand walking into a deli...
...on the corner of 13th and Broadway.
And I thought I was going crazy.But now I think it probably was you.
I lived on 11 th and Broadway.
I remember thinking at the time...
...that so many of the menthat I admired most...
...that their lives were dedicated tosomething greater than themselves.
So you got married becausemen you admired were married?
No, no. It's more like I had this--This idea of my best self, you know?
And I wanted to pursue that...
...even if it might have beenoverriding my honest self.
You know what I'm saying?
In the moment, I remember thinkingit didn't much matter, the who of it all.
I mean, that nobody is gonna beeverything to you...
...and that it's just the actionof committing yourself...
...you know, meetingyour responsibilities, that matters.
I mean, what is love, right,if it's not respect, trust, admiration?
And l-- I felt all those things.
Cut to the present,and I feel like I'm running a nursery...
...with somebody I used to date,you know.
I mean, I'm like a monk, you know.
I mean, I've had sex less than 10 timesin the last four years.
I mean, I'm really happyonly when I'm on my own.
Even being alone, it's better than sittingnext to a lover and feeling lonely.
It's not so easy for meto be a romantic.
You start off that way, and afteryou've been screwed over a few times...
...you forget about your delusional ideasand you take what comes into your life.
That's not even true.I haven't been screwed over...
...I've just had too manyblah relationships.
They weren't mean,they cared for me...
...but there were no real connectionor excitement.
At least, not from my side.
God, I'm sorry, is it really that bad?
It's not, right?
You know, it's not even that.I was....
I was fine until I readyour fucking book.
It stirred shit up, you know?
It reminded me howgenuinely romantic I was...
...how I had so much hope in things...
...and now it's like I don't believein anything that relates to love.
I don't feel things for people anymore.
In a way, I put all my romanticisminto that one night...
...and I was never able to feelall this again.
Like, somehow this nighttook things away from me...
...and I expressed them to you,and you took them with you.
It made me feel cold,like love wasn't for me.
I'm so miserable in my love life,in my relationship.
I always act as--Like, you know, I'm detached.
But I'm dying inside.I'm dying because I'm so numb.
I don't feel pain or excitement,I'm not even bitter, I'm just....
You think you're the onedying inside?
My life is 24/7 bad.
-I'm sorry.-No, no.
- 对不起...- 不要...
I mean, the only happiness I getis when I'm out with my son.
I've been to marriage counseling...
...I've done things I never thoughtI would have to do.
I've lit candles,bought self-help books, lingerie.
-Did the candles help?-Hell, no.
- 蜡烛有用吗？- 有个鬼用！
I don't love her the wayshe needs to be loved...
...and I don't even see a future for us,but then I look at my little boy...
...sitting across from me,and I think I'd suffer any torture...
...to be with him forall the minutes of his life.
I don't want to miss out on one.
But then, there's no joy or laughterin my home, you know?
-I don't want him growing up in that.-No laughter? That's terrible.
- 我不希望他在这样的环境中长大- 没有欢笑？那可太糟了
My parents have beentogether 35 years...
...and even when they fightthey end up laughing.
I don't want to be one of those peoplewho are getting divorced at 52...
...and falling down into tears, admittingthey never really loved their spouse...
...and they feel their life has beensucked up into a vacuum cleaner.
You know, I want a great life.I want her to have a great life...
...she deserves that.
But we're just living in the pretenseof a marriage, responsibility...
...you know, all these ideasof how people are supposed to live.
But then l-- I have these dreams....
I have these dreams,you know, that...
...I'm standing on a platform...
...and you keep going by on a train...
...and you go by, and you go by,and you go by, you go by.
And I wake up withthe fucking sweats.
And then I have this other dream...
...where you're pregnant in bedbeside me naked...
...and I want so badly to touch you, butyou tell me not to and you look away.
And l-- And I touch you anyway...
...right on your ankle, and your skin isso soft that I wake up in sobs, all right?
My wife is there looking at me,and I feel I'm a million miles from her.
And I know that there'ssomething wrong, that l--
God, that I can't keep living like this...
...that there's gotta be more to lovethan commitment.
But then I think thatI might have given up...
...on the whole idea of romantic love.
That I might have put itto bed that--
That day when you weren't there.
You know, I think I mighthave done that.
Here's my kitty. Oh, so cute.Look at him.
You know what I loveabout this cat?
Every morning I bring himto the courtyard...
...and every single morning he looksat everything like it was the first time.
Every corner, every tree, every plant.
Smells everythingwith his little cute nose.
Oh, I love my kitty. I love my kitty.