I had to go to Singapore to get a true feeling of the former colony. I had to travel elsewhere to satisfy another urge. There were stories from people who had traveled the length of the Trans Siberian railroad, but stories of journeys were never enough for me. There were maps and more maps that I studied until I had absorbed each and every detail; there was “The National Geographic Magazine, which I’ve always received a subscription to and used to read religiously; there were the nature and travel films on television. All of this was before Peg and I took off; I knew something about the places I wanted to see.
And when I went to one place, there was always someplace else I wanted to go: borders in particular have always excited me. I wanted to experience as much of the world as I could; it seems as if that has always been the case with me: to release a certain, special energy that needs an outlet. Luckily that outlet doesn’t have to be travel. But there is much to say about travel that for me places it on the same plain as creative activity; that means I can substitute writing (as well as directing) for traveling. And here is where conflict comes into play. This has never been easy for me to reconcile. So, just as I could spend my life traveling, without ever experiencing everything I would like to, so the same thing exists with my writing, a problem of never being satisfied, though it appears as if the conflict is now being settled for me.
When I think about it I realize there are worse dilemmas. I want only to learn and leave something. I have been trying to write all of my adult life, which I don’t have that much to show for, but it seems to me that I’ve chosen the right course of action: that experience is the grist for literature. And I know my experiences are unique. So here I’m trying to set a course for myself with the resources that I have. I have nothing else. Matt Freese’s experience and expertise will take him some place else. I’m me; he’s Matt. It’s the same with every other writer; we’re all different. It’s hard to say where we are when we attempt to compare ourselves with someone else. The simple fact is that Matt has never been to Vengurla India, and I bet he has never had to catch the sleep he could on top of an oil drum. There is so much to cover; so much for us, about my friend Matt and me and about our different worlds. And there is also a lot that we have in common; and that my friend, as you know, falls under the heading of universality.