"It's really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They're right. I did some extremely foolish things; I'm the first to say it. And they've left me in jail and alone."
So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.
I love my job now – writing – but I've had some baaaaad jobs in the past. Before I get back to working on my new novel, let me think back on some of the really bad jobs I've had, ones that make me count my blessings today.
KITCHEN WORKER IN RESTAURANT – I did this for a while on weekends when I was a student at Columbia, to earn some extra money. I think the restaurant was called "The Steak Pub" or something like that: very clubby, very beefy, and very male. My entire job consisted of opening clams and arranging them on platters of ice chips, constructing shrimp cocktails, and putting whipped cream on top of frozen parfaits. And cleaning up for hours afterwards, of course. Remember whenever you go to a restaurant, the staff spends many hours after closing, cleaning up the kitchen. At least, you hope they do.