Where had I read that? Who had written it? It was so exactly the way I felt, the way that, as a child, I had always felt until I forced myself to "get into the swim," "be one of the crowd"—a good sort, on the ball, hep. And what a hash I had made of "togetherness"! I shrugged the memory of failure away. Everyone doesn't have to live in a heap. Painters, writers, musicians are lonely people. So are statesmen and admirals and generals. But then, I added to be fair, so are criminals and lunatics. Let's just say, not to be too flattering, that true individuals are lonely. It's not a virtue—the reverse, if anything. One ought to share and communicate if one is to be a useful member of the tribe. The fact that I was so much happier when I was alone was surely the sign of a faulty, a neurotic character. I had said this so often to myself in the past five years that now, that evening, I just shrugged my shoulders and, hugging my solitude to me, walked across the big lobby to the door and went out to have a last look at the evening.
I want to write like that; I want to write things that make people go, "Yes!" If you look past the character's standpoint, once again, Fleming has shown his capacity for tapping into my thought processes and feelings on things. Way to go, Ian. Hooray for understanding the careful balance between lonely and lost-in-the-crowd, between creativity and constriction, and for then putting that all down into some kind of communicable form. It hasn't taught me anything, per se, but sometimes it's helpful just to have repitition of thoughts, especially from external sources.
Someday, I will be a writer, but today is not that day, because I have to go back to work!