At the start of Simon Van Booy’s The Secret Lives of People in Love, which is one of the finest, loveliest things I have ever read, he talks about two books he keeps under his bed. I think it must be in the preface or the introduction and perhaps I’m misremembering this--my copy of the book is stored away somewhere after last year's moving debacle--but he speaks of two books he has written that will never be published. Those two books--flawed and imperfect, and perhaps even unfinished--made him the writer he is. Those two books birthed his future books.
I’ve been thinking a lot about all that has happened in this city. I have never known an adult life anywhere else. It is easy to think my time in New York has been for naught. The hardest years of my life happened here, painful and incomplete and full of false-starts. It is here that I let go of dreams, said goodbye to more than one man I loved, got very, very ill, and worked very, very hard to get well. But I can’t help but think these ten years might just be my two under-the-bed books.
They had to happen so that everything else might.
And well, okay. I’m okay with that.