I wonder if I will ever again not be afraid of people. I love people--want to love people--and maybe that's why I can't get over being primally and primarily terrified. Maybe can--but haven't. I read a lot of things people write on the internet, talking about things that happen in their real-lives or their online-lives, mostly women talking about other women who are their friends or sisters or acquaintances, and I feel intimately, infinitely alone. Where are my friendships? Where are my confidantes? Where is the person with whom I can have a casual, fun conversation about nothing or everything? (Is anything in my life "casual, fun"? Is anything in anyone's truly that? Maybe we're all uncomfortable together, we just learn to streamline interactions by pushing it to the background.) This is not a complaint, those are real questions. Friendships do not arrive built-in, they are constructed, they are hard work, this much I know. You know I love a challenge, and I want to know: how is it done?

I know nothing is ever so simple, that every instant unfolds in its own way, that I can't draw these broad lines and expect them to be filled with reality. I know that.

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