More from December 1st. I spent all day by myself.

I've been thinking about books I read as a kid, and among those I really loved, how many were more or less about the excitements of concealment and revelation. I'm thinking specifically about Harriet the Spy and The Secret Garden, a book that led me to believe that I could be happy doing nothing but exploring a large house alone, doing very little to dissuade me from an early proclivity for trespassing. But to return to Harriet, it's such a good book, in my mind, because of how it talks about the essential conflict of consciousness, that is, coming to grips with a social reality that butts up against your personal framework of perception and understanding. Also, there's that incredible section about being at home during the time when you're usually at school, how empty and odd-feeling that is, like you've stepped outside reality. You start to think about your life in new, abstract ways. Anyway, of all protagonists, I probably identified the most with Harriet.

I miss being able to read the way I did then, with total abandonment of anything outside the book. (See: The Neverending Story) Now I think more about the author than the story, having subscribed, somewhere along the line, to that social reality that keeps me from total childlike solipsism.

I think I started thinking of myself in terms of my nervous system at my first confrontation with the conundrum of touching another person, and what happens at the junction of my skin and someone else's, to be simultaneously feeling and touching (felt).

When I start thinking about all these things, it's hard to believe that loneliness has any power at all in comparison with the complications that other people have put in my life. But of course it does.

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