Using these questions, would you please write a brief description of yourself?
My favorite creature is the tree porcupine.
My earliest memory is sitting on the Emperor Napoleon’s bed
after I ran from my mother in the Forest of Fontainebleau—
the Chateau guards sat me on the bed to stop my crying.
Sometimes I dream I am an Emperor, born to rule all France.
French girl/ American girl—you cannot be both.
Secretly, I have always been both.
I like to collect stones because they have no idea
what country they come from.
I like to walk along beaches, watch the waves that wash up,
messages from other countries where
there are different words for ocean, water, salt.
I broke my back when I was ten
but my heart I have broken more often.
My good luck charm is a coin that no country counts as currency.
I am obsessed with moving, never staying for long
—walk, swim, take a bus—
if I’m not moving, I cannot breathe. I was born early
& I have always been in a hurry.
But when I see where we’re headed, I’m afraid.
My favorite movie is Bambi because the mother dies for her child
but I never tell anyone that.
I would die for my children
because of that movie, because life is like that
except when it is not.
When I was little I liked the Hardy Boys
because their mother died & left
Frank & Joe free to do just as they liked.
Honestly, I know more about silent movies than most people.
Don’t even get me started.
When I don’t care what anyone thinks, I will probably be dead.
I wish I were braver. I am probably too foolish for my own good
My favorite place in my house is my bed,
even though I am not the Emperor Napoleon. There I can dream.
Of all the senses, I use touch the least.
I would rather look at you. Listen to you.
But stay over there, please.
The worst mistake a parent could make is to die.
But then, we are all going to do that.
Also, abandon your child.
But then, really, if you do that are you a parent?
My favorite person is probably a dead author
you have never read.
There is no place I have traveled that hasn’t changed who I am.
The greatest injustice I have ever experienced
was being born a woman, but I’ve learned to live with it.
I am fascinated by paintings of the Dormition of Mary.
Did she dream while she slept & if so—
were they dreams of her Earthly life
or Heaven? Or was the gift of Dormition
sleep free even of dreams?
Favorite item of clothing? I like a good sweater.
Roomy, shawl collared, someplace to hide
from winter & the world.
When I smell the ocean, I remember being skinny
as a sandpiper, stalking the beach
looking for stones or shells. I remember what it
felt like to be sunburned.
The biggest mistake I made in my life—
I probably haven’t made yet.
I will stand up & run if you set fire to this room—
maybe. If it’s not a big room, I’d rather walk.
I would rather eat a bowl of plastic grapes
than tell you what I am really thinking.
What worries me most is that you’re bound to find out.
To lie is one thing. I write fiction. I do that.
But in life, shouldn’t there be truth?