When I started reading I found I couldn’t read properly: the sound of a car outside made me imagine the driver and where he or she was going, an overheard word made me think of some old conversation, which returned me to the words on the page and made me turn the page back and forth. When I started writing I found I couldn’t write properly: I’d get distracted by the movements of the pen in my hand and the ink marks on the page, or the cooing of a pigeon, which made me turn the page back and forth. Reading and writing themselves became distractions, as I suppose they had been from the beginning, parts of the long, drawn-out distraction that was my life.

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