From the last, and arguably best, of the Nine Stories, in which an intellectual converses with the pre-pubescent guru after whom the story is named:

“You love God, don’t you? Nicholson asked, with a little excess of quietness. “Isn’t that your forte, so to speak? From what I heard on that tape and from what Al Babcock –“

“Yes, sure, I love Him. But I don’t love Him sentimentally. He never said anybody had to love Him sentimentally,” Teddy said. “If I were God, I certainly wouldn’t want people to love me sentimentally. It’s too unreliable.”

“You love your parents, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do — very much,” Teddy said, “but you want to make me use that word to mean what you want it to mean — I can tell.”

“All right. In what sense do you want me to use it?”

Teddy thought it over. “You know what the word ‘affinity’ means?” he asked, turning to Nicholson.

“I have a rough idea,” Nicholson said dryly.

“I have a very strong affinity for them. They’re my parents, I mean, and we’re all part of each other’s harmony and everything,” Teddy said. “I want them to have a nice time while they’re alive, because they like having a nice time… But they don’t love me and Booper — that’s my sister — that way. I mean they don’t seem able to love us just the way we are. They don’t seem able to love us unless they can keep changing us a little bit. They love their reasons for loving us almost as much as they love us, and most of the time more. It’s not so good, that way.”