On who was wiping their ass on the bath towels:
I was signing books one night…
About 10 years ago. And someone came up to the table, and said “You know it was your grandmother.”
And I thought “Oh my god, you’re RIGHT. It WAS my grandmother. How did none of us ever put this together? It took a stranger to crack this case.”
And that’s what I said. “Oh my god, you’re right. I can’t believe that never occurred to any of us before.”
On the meanest thing he’s ever said:
“I hope you die alone.”
I said that to my father when I was 13. And I’ve thought about it ever since.
I don’t think he remembers it, because as a parent of 6 kids, you’re gonna hear a lot of things like that. But my fear is that my father will die alone.
And…I’ll be forced, for the rest of my life, to think about that terrible thing that I said.
Does anyone know a woman who might want to marry my father and stay by his side night and day? He’s 92.
On his best meal ever:
Dinner at Santo Padre in Rome. I think it used to be a stable?
I was in Rome, and somebody sent me an email and said “You should go to that restaurant.” So we did, and it was phenomenal.
Not super-fancy, but bite-for-bite, the best food I’ve ever had in my life.
It’s worth going to Rome to eat at Santo Padre. The waitress speaks 17 words of English. You do the rest. You just say “prego” and point at other people’s plates. What I liked about it was the waitress would say “You want pasta course? You want fish course?” and you just keep saying Yes and she chose what it was. That was what was great about it. I don’t like having to make decisions in restaurants. I would just be happy if they said “This is what we have today, you either eat it, or you don’t.” Like on a plane, you get 3 options. 3 is the most, that’s as many options as I want for food.
And really any more than 3 is a waste of everyone’s time.
On working through writer’s block:
Sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll open an English textbook, and do the homework.
There are a lot of college writing textbooks that will include essays and short stories, and after reading the story or essay, there will be questions such as “Have YOU Had any experience with a pedophile in YOUR family?” or “When was the last time you saw YOUR mother drunk?” and they’re just really good at prompting stories. You answer the question, and sometimes that can spring into a story.
You know, this is really good advice: I mean, I don’t have advice to offer on many things, but THAT is good advice, and you’re NOT gonna hear it from a lot of other places.
Sometimes, I listen to… jazz. It can’t be… music with words in it. But lately, I’m on a… let’s see, I’m on a Bobby Enriquez kick. It doesn’t have anything to do with writer’s block. Well, where we live in Sussex, sometimes there are gliders over our house, and gliders don’t make any noise, but the planes that tow them into the sky do, but I like to cover up the sound of the planes.
It’s like a flying lawnmower.
Check out the rest here.