I can’t write anything fiction. I’m far too self-serving for that. So I simply parade my thoughts around in metaphors and other people’s clothes, telling myself that I’ve created something that has any application beyond my own introspection. I project myself onto the page as some other thing, some intellectual voice with a more interesting perspective. I beat reality with a stick until it looks like something more amusing or more meaningful. And when I’ve worn my hands to bone, and when the sweat from my brow has distorted my vision, and when I’m too exhausted to breathe, I’ll gaze upon this thing I’ve created out of sheer hard-headedness and I’ll chuckle a half-satisfied chuckle—having diluted myself into thinking I’m no longer looking back at my own reflection, having beaten myself into such a wonderful delusion.