I'm not saying it's what I would have wanted. But don't you see? We fuck up our lives again and again and it's always our children who pick up the bill. We move on to new relationships, always starting over, always thinking we've got another chance to get it right, it's the kids from all these broken marriages who pay the price. They - my son, your daughters, all the millions like them - are carrying around wounds that are going to last a lifetime. It has to stop.
Cancer seems a high price to pay for an innocuous-looking habit. You get into smoking and you are robbed of the last 25 years of your life. Some cocky souls will say, 'Ah yes, but they are the worst 25 years.' Nobody feels like that in a cancer ward. There are no cocky souls in a cancer ward. But there's a lot of pain, not just of the excruciating physical kind that they shoot you full of morphine to smother. There are a lot of tears. All round. It is hard to say goodbye to the people you love. And it's scary. Cancer wards have a way of knocking the cockiness out of you. And for what? Another cigarette?
I think airports are places of huge human drama. The more I see of it, the more I am convinced that Heathrow is a secret city, with its own history, folklore and mythology. But what has surprised me is the love the people who work there feel for the place. Everyone seems to think they are plugged into something majestic.
Largely this is a class thing - writers tend to be cosseted little middle-class kiddies who think that the world owes them a royalty cheque. But just doing it - being in your room for years on end, locked in your head, alone with invented ghosts - it weakens and softens the body. And I know I can't just live in my head.