As usual, the old Chinese monk was sitting at his very modern Western desk, and the moment he saw him Hector felt better.
"Please sit down," said the old monk in his kindly voice. "I see there is something you are worried about."
Hector sighed. The monk looked at him sympathetically.
"It's this new book," said Hector at last. "My book about happiness was a big success. Now they want me to do another one."
"And what will your new book be about?" asked the monk.
"Love," said Hector, and he sighed again.
The monk waited for him to go on.
"I have some ideas," said Hector. "I'm going to explain about dopamine and oxytocin and their role in creating desire and attachment."
"I am sure your readers will find that very interesting," said the monk politely.
"And I will talk about the five components of heartbreak. I will give examples of how they work in practice," continued Hector. "I have made up a story, and they will all play a part in it."
"It seems like you have quite a lot of ideas really," said the monk. "Do you want to tell me a little about the story?"
"Well," said Hector, "I have problems in my relationship with Clara, my longtime girlfriend. I visit Asia and fall in love with a beautiful young Asian woman."
"It sounds a little bit like your first book?" asked the monk. "Maybe I am not remembering it well."
"It is rather a lot like it," said Hector. "But I can't think of anything else."
"There is a question I might ask you," said the monk. "Though perhaps you will find it impolite."
"No, no, please ask!" said Hector.
"Do you love this book?" asked the monk. "I know you loved the first one."
Hector looked very unhappy. "Not really," he said. "But they talked me into doing it, and now I can't get out."