"I hate having regrets, but at sixty they show up, sharp and aggressive, like nasty dogs. Regrets, and a fog of guilt, for not having put myself on the line more — for not having made more of an effort with my mother, despite her incessant guilt-mongering and threats and physical abusiveness, for not having seen how terrified she must have been. For not having loved Johanna more unreservedly. For not having committed more wholeheartedly to the project of making something of this short slip of time that is my life. Just now, making my breakfast — a poached egg on a crumpet spread with a slice of avocado, with some salt and fresh pepper — I was thinking about how much pleasure it would give me to be able to serve soft-boiled eggs and avocado to some friends in (okay, it was a weird thought) a cabin by the sea; but even that lovely dream never came to pass because I never thought I could make it come to pass, because I was always distracted by more immediate obligations. I was afraid of the long haul. The greatest gift turning sixty has given me is that it has made me aware of that fear. I can do something about it now, as long as it is not too late, which is the other main fear."