BLVR: But it seems like in both books, you’re presenting a philosophy of relationships wherein they’re very fluid. The message is that they’re inevitably fleeting, which strikes me as a pretty antiromantic stance.
SM: Well, I don’t know how to answer that. Because, first, so what?. . .
BLVR: I guess what I mean is in both cases you seem to be suggesting that the purpose of a relationship is to make us more of what we need to become in order to have the next relationship. They’re building blocks.
SM: There’s a similarity in both stories that I never recognized. They’re about relationships that prepare and lead you into another, where the neurotic elements of the previous relationship are fixed.
BLVR: Do you believe that personally?
SM: Yeah. But I don’t mean like it’s a perfect match. Or that you meet one person and then the next one is perfect. Sometimes it takes ten people. I have friends who’ve been married for thirty years and they’re in love.
BLVR: Do you think it’s a matter of chance or is there something about an individual’s brain chemistry that hard-wires him or her to need a certain number of relationships before finding a good match?
SM: I think some people are just set up to go, “Hey, I love you and here we are and we’re together and it’s great.” I do think that. And it probably gets less fixed as you move toward the big cities. In a big city, you’re being introduced to new things all the time. In small towns, you meet who you meet. In a small town, there may be eight appropriate people.