I don't want to just mess with your head. I want to mess with your life. . . . I want you to miss appointments, burn dinner, skip your homework. I want you to tell your wife to take that moonlight stroll on the beach at Waikiki with the resort tennis pro while you read a few more chapters.
You asked me if I believed in magic, and I said yes, and that's how. You just step out, start pulling your life out of the air. You make friends, you find work you really like doing, you find places. You find diners and Laundromats. You find beaches. You find a junk car and drive it for a month, then lave it beside the road. You find someone to fall in love with you. You make it all up as you go. Or, you know, maybe it makes you up.
I supply my own angels and demons. I exist on a stony beach, which lowers itself in waves toward a protective ocean. A dog barks; a child cries; the day sinks and becomes night. You can never scare me. No human being will be able to scare me ever again. I have a prayer that I repeat to myself in absolute stillness: May a wind come to stir up the ocean and the stifling twilight. May a bird come from water out there and explode the silence with its call.
What I really want is to sit next to someone under an L. L. bean blanket on the beach in the fall and drink coffee from the same mug. I don't want some rusty '73 Ford Pinto with a factory-defective gas tank that causes it to explode when it's rear-ended in the parking lot of the supermarket. So why do I keep looking for Pintos?
I smoke two cartons of unfiltered cigs and down a bottle of American rye whiskey as a warm up, generally. Then swallow beach sand and general aggregate to get some texture in the voice, followed by a stick of butter to smooth it all out. This works for me, but may not be for everyone.
The castle of Cair Paravel on its little hill towered up above them; before them were the sands, with rocks and little pools of salt water, and seaweed, and the smell of the sea and long miles of bluish-green waves breaking for ever and ever on the beach. And oh, the cry of the seagulls! Have you ever heard it? Can you remember?