“All these people, all that noise, thrilling - not every moment, but so many moments, more than my fair share. And at the same time I am ashamed of my joy, ashamed to take such pleasure in the things I see, the Magical Lottery Number books and the satisfying complexities of computer programming, afraid during a business meeting because I want to yell out in happiness to see these other, new, creatures, find out what the man talking about Intranets is really thinking, if he’s sad or happy, have him tell us how proud he is of his son and daughter, age 6 and 9, get some good dirty stories.

“Such a fool, in this world of falling bombs, crashing buildings, idle poor and busy rich. But I find so much pleasure in so many places, in rusty signs and watching my friends gain or lose weight, seeing their bodies shift and transform due to internal and external pressures. I have done so many lousy things, I don’t deserve any happiness. I keep it hidden, under the bed, often even from my friends, and they hide it from me, but I see it in them as well, their faces - wrinkling a bit around the eyes as we all get older - lighting up at the discovery of a gargoyle watching from a ledge over 5th Avenue, or their rapture at the spice in the sauce over their vegetables.”