I was born in Manhattan and spent my littlest years being strollered through Central Park. My parents absconded with me to Kennebunkport, a little place on the Maine seacoast with heavy winters and heavy summers. There were giant pine trees and sea-breezes waving through salt marshes, lobster boats and the great summer houses down by the beach.
I was not very old before I started walking to school – alone, through the woods, following the path of a river. Sometimes I’d walk a little farther into Kennebunk to go to the library. We could have been in a great booming metropolis and I doubt it would have effected my childhood very much. I spent most of my time in bed with a book.
We didn’t have much growing up. Money was tight. There was no internet and no Amazon, which meant little exposure to the world and all such exposure was intangible. I think I might be of the very last generation who had to wait for the circus to come to us. So I went to the circus as best as I could: by books.
I did not like school. I was bored. I was not very happy at all. Only recently have I wondered whether these two facts are as closely correlated as I’d always assumed. I was sick very often. I would stay home all day and read and watch TV. Part of me has always rather assumed that I was sick because it let me stay home. On the other hand, I still catch colds with annoying frequency. On the other hand, they still let me stay home.