How do you begin approaching the subject with your father? A man who has such high hopes for you, the idea of a son dear to him. You are a math problem he is working out on paper: you’ll play football (tight end), go to his alma mater (he’s sent for the application), do what he’s never dared — become a writer (you’ve written a few poems). You’ve practiced the speech. What do you mean? your father will ask. I don’t want you to be ashamed to tell me anything. You don’t realize you’ve knocked till a voice answers, How can I help you, Son? What father, no matter how understanding, looks forward to his child’s coming to him and saying, Sorry, Dad, for interrupting your work but I think I’m . . . What language do you use when you want nothing more than not to want what you want? Imagine a candle inside your mind. You try to blow it out, rub it out, blot it, smother it, extinguish it forever. But no matter what you do it goes on burning steadily, even purely in its stubbornness. It casts shadows that turn even the most common room mysterious. It lets you see where no sight seems possible.