This is my favorite part of the night, when all of the family members are in their rooms upstairs and I have the ground floor all to myself. I go to the kitchen and have a slow, bedtime snack. There are times when I cross the street to the burger stand or go to M.'s cafe, but I am still craving ripe mangoes and we have lots of them in the ref. I afterward loll in bed and read a book (usually a Judge Dee, but tonight I am still carefully reading the book on Thai magic that my sister Sylvia sent me). And then I let the TV take over and lull me to sleep with world news.
I am happy that I am unmarried and have no partner that I would have to converse with or constantly adjust to. I speak only for myself, of course. I have always liked doing things alone and without relying on anyone else, which is probably why I am a writer and a painter, the kind of writer and the kind of painter that can live without regularly having sex with or touching someone who is always beside him.
This, I think, is what makes me different from my colleagues.
I have the night, and, whenever I do, I feel that I am everyone I have ever wanted to be and that, because I feel that I have everything, I could not desire anything more.