I have all the time in the world or I have no time. More likely the latter. Or rather, time is apportioned in ways that neglect the self's most innermost and elusive needs. Errands, chores, mother-in-law's tasks, the office, the dog, even the idea of dinner—all eating at my time. I scurry in pursuit of other people’s ends. And what of my own? I write in fragments, as usual, and when I return to my notes, I can't understand them, meaningful only in the stolen moment they were scribbled on whatever was at hand. Today everyone is away, at last, and I have only the dog to worry about. I lie in bed, surrounded by notes and implements, sipping coffee, feeling the thrum of language. Paradise.
There are at least two Phils. There's the Phil who wants to be Proust, sleeping all day and then writing in bed in a cork-lined room into the night after a breakfast of opium and croissants. There's also the Phil who wants to wander cities and mountains, anonymous and restless, with no more familial connections to hamper her movements. Both are recluses, responsible only to themselves, solitary creatures attuned to their memories and ideas, following a glowing thread through the winding passages of a labyrinth.