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.