Is it a neurosis of modern life or is it my reading list? -- you just don't find truly cruel characters in novels any more. But go back into the nineteenth century and whew. People are torturing kittens and beating horses to death and living lives totally devoted to spite. It's so refreshingly unevolved! If you were feeling as though God had turned his face away from you, you were free to shamelessly follow the path of darkness. But these days, everyone's trying to be so nice.
Except the guy who used to have my phone number. Jack got me a cell phone so that I can be tracked down to the farthest corners of Babies R Us, but the number I've been assigned used to belong to some guy named Chris who, it seems, is in the process of burning some bridges. I am constantly taking calls from bill collectors, angry men with whiskey voices, tattoo parlors, and video stores trying to reclaim overdue rentals. It's a real hoot.