"And where were you?"
"France. I lived there for close to five years."
"That explains it, then. But why on earth would you want to live in France?"
"No particular reason. I just wanted to be somewhere that wasn't here."
"You didn't go to study? You weren't working for UNESCO or some hot-shot international law firm?"
"No, nothing like that. I was pretty much living hand to mouth."
"The old expatriate adventure, was that it? Young American writer goes off to Paris to discover culture and beautiful women, to experience the pleasure of sitting in cafés and smoking strong cigarettes."
"I don't think it was that either. I felt I needed some breathing room, that's all. I picked France because I was able to speak French. If I spoke Serbo-Croatian, I probably would have gone to Yugoslavia."
"So you went away. For no particular reason, as you put it. Was there any particular reason why you came back?"
"I woke up one morning last summer and told myself it was time to come home. Just like that. I suddenly felt I'd been there long enough. Too many years without baseball, I suppose. If you don't get your ration of double plays and home runs, it can begin to dry up your spirit."