Swelter 17

"In my late twenties, I scaled back my appearance, looking more or less like I do now, supporting myself in odd jobs: artist modeling, commercial drawing, tap dance instructor. I had no talent for any of this, but what else could I do? When my first book came out, The Naked Civil Servant, the fame from it only made everything worse. When I told people that I'd worked at being famous, they were even more annoyed. The English treasure their indignation.

"In this wonderful optimistic country, I wrote more books, played Mr. Sting's laboratory assistant in The Bride, entered the smiling and nodding business. I live on the lower East Side in New York, right down the block from the Hell's Angels club, but no one has ever bothered me. Well, once for money, but of course anything to do with the pursuit of money is sacred. The easy way is to become famous, and then do something. Mr. Warhol thought everybody would be famous for fifteen minutes. The trick is to cling on so your fifteen minutes are never over.

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