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Secrets revealed - Proust's questions Numbers 15-18


Here's my fourth installment of answers to Proust's Questionnaire, originally a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist. I'll continue to add these thought-provoking questions and my answers in a series of blog posts and hope you'll join me here often for more news about me and my work. Reveal your true nature by asking them of yourself.

15---What or who is the greatest love of your life?


Easy/Peasy…Punky Momma. My wife, Cynthia, who is so elegant and gracious, beautiful without knowing that she is. I am truly blessed being around a slim, energetic, comely female every single day. She looks much the same as she did when I first met her and was instantly smitten. I admit that she can be exasperating because her mind works opposite of mine on many topics. Not on basic, fundamental topics, but on some of the daily issues that come up all the time. If I choose to empty the dishwasher, she wants it done just so while I waste no time worrying about how. I just get it done. Like that! And nowadays, if she walks into the kitchen just as I’ve finished putting plates and silverware away, I prepare to ask forgiveness. Asking for permission takes too much time. She forgives me most of the time. Not always.


16---When and where were you happiest?


Since the question is phrased in the past tense, I’m going to note that I’m pretty happy right now. But, if I were to pick a past time and place where I had a wonderful time, it would have been in Bahama (pronounced “Ba-hay-ma,” a rural community north of Durham) back in 1975-1976 when I was in graduate school in Chapel Hill. It was a deliciously irresponsible period in my life. That is, I was not responsible for much as a grad student when compared with what was handed to me after our three children arrived, and after I was promoted a few times at work. In Bahama we lived in a rented house on a gravel road a couple hundred yards from Fairntosh Plantation on the edge of the deep woods. It was a lovely spot for a young married couple. And my wife was supporting me financially. That was pretty nice, too.


17---Which talent would you most like to have?


I would gladly be choreographed by the Muse, Terpsichore. I’m a little heavy on my feet.


18---If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?


Besides becoming a better dancer, I’d like to be more slender. I’m six feet tall and have a large, athletic frame. I weighed 206 pounds this morning, which is 8 pounds heavier than when I was a senior in high school. My father, the pediatrician, whose approval I always tried to earn, used to tell me, “You really ought to weigh no more than 185.” And he always had a sincere, helpful expression on his face when he said it, an expression that translated into a constant personal challenge for me. Which I have achieved only once, while I was engaged. (I think I forgot to eat for a while. I was crazy in love! I mean, really crazy!)