The other day, I was working out and watching Charlie Rose (at 5:30 a.m. one can watch either Charlie Rose or "How to Get Rich Buying Real Estate for Seventeen Cents and Reselling It for Millions." I chose Charlie Rose.)
Charlie was showing some of his many interviews with the recently deceased John Updike from years past. In more than one interview, Updike owned up to the fact that the specter of death had haunted him since he was young. It was constantly hanging over him, he said in one of the interviews.
And then, I thought about the way that Updike constantly, obsessively wrote about adultery, and about men chasing women as if their lives depended on it. (When I read an Updike book, I often pictured myself taking his wife out to lunch, patting her hand sympathetically and saying, "I'm so sorry, dear ....") And suddenly, out of the blue, I could hear Olympia Dukakis asking John Mahoney, in Moonstruck, "Why do men chase women?" and I heard her answering her own question with, "I think it's because they fear death."
And, I thought, "All Rabbit Angstrom really had to do was ask an Italian housewife about the central dilemma of his life and she could have fixed everything for him."
And I'll bet a terrific dinner would have followed.