"It takes so little, so infinitely little," writes Milan
Kundera in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,
"for a person to cross the border beyond which
everything loses meaning: love, convictions, faith,
history. Human life—and herein lies its secret—
takes place in the immediate proximity of that
border, even in direct contact with it; it is not
miles away, but a fraction of an inch."
And yet, John Cheever says in his journals, "The
most wonderful thing about life seems to be that
we hardly tap our potential for self-destruction.
We may desire it, it may be what we dream of, but
we are dissuaded by a beam of light, a change in