Not in any kind of painful way, but it's hard for me to talk about this project. It's just that I don't know what it is anymore. I could just be imagining this, but people see this book in different ways. I could show this book to ten different people and have them form very different opinions of what it is and what it means to them. Sometimes I feel like I have a dozen different people inside of me. I've always been that way and I've always written stuff down. But this is different, this is the introduction of my book. I can't just wing it.
My real problem is that after a while I decided to save this introduction for last. I figured that one of the reasons this intro was so hard to write was because I needed the book and all its parts to be in place before trying to sum it all up. And to be quite honest with you, most of the material in this book is foreign to me now.
If I wanted to be all David Copperfield about it, I could say I began this project more than two decades ago on a hot summer day in a New York City hospital, but the truth is I only became of aware of it actually becoming a book in early January of 2001. It is now crawling to the end of 2005 with the completion of this endeavor nowhere in sight. So much of it was written so long ago that I may have lost sight of what it meant, not only to the reader, but to me as well. Perhaps that is why I have found it so difficult to introduce this part of myself to the rest of the world, because I don't know what it means to me anymore.
So much has changed since I first sat down and began to write this book. I've changed. I got arrested recently and to be quite honest with you it wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be. I got a new dog and I named her Audrey. I found a girl (a real girl) that I'm in love with, and if you can believe it, she loves me back.
I'm looking at her right now, in fact. She bought me a new computer and on the desktop there's this picture of her on the beach. She and I and a bunch of our friends went to Hawaii recently. I had never been there before and I enjoyed myself very much. We had a house right on the beach. A couple of days into it, while sitting in the shade nursing my new sunburn, she decided to try surfing for the first time. And needless to say it was quite a funny sight. If you've never seen someone take their first surfing lesson before, then drop this book and everything else you're doing immediately and arrange it. It's well worth it. On one of her many tumbles into the ocean a friend of ours must have snapped a picture of her. Her butt is on the board as she's washing ashore and she has this smile on her face. It looks like you've just surprised a five-year-old with a truck full of candy. I'm talking ear to ear. Every time I turn on my computer and I see this picture it makes me happy. I know how lucky I am to have someone that makes me feel that way, believe me. I'm lucky to have her.