So there I was, just inside the Beltway, watching some popular movie the other day. When you’re writing a novel, there’s a lot to be said for watching movies from the same genre, and besides, the heroine was pretty. Anyway, at one point, the protagonist is about to be indicted. He’s not sure what to do, and he’s standing at an intersection here in town. It’s really more of a crossroads, and he stops at the corner. He has no idea which way to go.
His lawyer is in one of our glass office buildings, a few stories up, and sees him standing there. So the lawyer takes out his cell phone, and calls the guy. And he says, “Trust me on this one, I’ve seen a lot of these cases. No matter what happens from now on, you will never be the person you were before. You need to give all that up. You need to figure out who you’re going to be from now on. It’s just a problem you need to solve.” The scriptwriter must have been a fan of Stanley Elkin.