“C: Where did the idea [for The Instructions] come from?
AL: Nowhere really, unless maybe from the sentence “I towel-snapped the ass of the Janitor,” which used to be the first line of the book. Or from having spent my childhood suspecting I was the messiah. Or from having dated a red-haired painter, or from having ceased to date her. Or from having enjoyed fistfights as a boy, or books, or from needing something to do while smoking at my desk.”