‘Hell is Other People’

That’s one of my father’s favorite sayings (it is from Jean-Paul Satre’s play No Exit).

He was always trying to avoid the hordes of people descending on him.

On some Sabbath mornings in Australia, he’d put me on a bike and pedal me miles to a quarry where we’d spend a few solitary hours.

I’ve inherited this misanthropy and tend to isolate myself.

From the time I entered school in second grade, I was searing and cutting with my words, keeping other people at bay.

Not much has changed 33 years later.

Almost all relationships tend to limit my freedom to write — a top value for me. I just want to be free to describe the world as I see it, but I can only understand the world through relationships with other (which always necessitate sacrifices of freedom).

As I’ve aged, I’ve learned to compromise more gracefully. I have a handful of relationships in my life that I put before my writing.

But not many.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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