"First, try to be something, anything, else. A movie star / astronaut. A movie star / missionary. A movie sar / kindergarten teacher. President of the World. Fail miserably. It is best if you fail at an early age - say, fourteen. Early, critical disillusionment is necessary so that at fifteen you can write long haiku sequences about thwarted desire. […] Count the syllables. Show it to your mom. She is tough and practical."
“‘You reach a point,’ she wrote me once, ‘where you cannot cry anymore, and you look around at people you know, at people your own age, and they’re not crying either. Something has been taken. And they are emptier. And they are grateful.’”