In the house where I grew up, the sports radio was always blaring, the TV too, and everyone talked over each other and through everything else at the top of their lungs. I learned to read and do my homework in that racket but promised myself I’d be a silence worshipper if I managed to grow up. And in fact these days I do insist on living alone and uphold quiet as more glamorous than champagne sipped upon a velvet divan. But the truth of the truth is that whenever I want to get any big writing done I have to work in the noisiest environment I can find: a house full of screaming kids, a bustling coffee shop, my noisy stoop. If I ever want to finish my book I probably will have to set up a desk in the middle of Times Square. Old habits don’t die hard; they don’t die at all. We just find a rhinestone-studded collar with which we may tame them.