I’ve always loved this passage. An old friend once surprised me with a package and tucked into the parcel was a handwritten note saying that it was a piece which in every respect was a true description of who I represented in his life.

I will forever be flattered.

She will have none of that. She is quick, mercurial, intemperate. She has a big mouth, a rash heart, a generous nature (always a liability, in my view), and if my way is always to opt out, to sit in the window seat with a book in my lap, pressing my face against the pane, then her great weakness, indistinguishable from her great strength, is a fatal, manic aptitude for saying yes. She gets herself and us, and me into trouble: into noble causes and silly disputes… into journeys and strange hotel beds and awkward situations, into putting my money where my mouth is and my name on fund-raising pitch letters for things that I believe in but otherwise, I don’t know, haven’t gotten around to yet. She is the curse and wolfman charm in my blood, calling me to shed my flannel shirt and my pressed pants with their sensible belt and lope on all fours into the forest.

Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs

Paintings by Stella Im Hultberg.

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