tonight i am thinking of the census, and how they reported that one in three american households is comprised of only one person. I am thinking about you, you people who are alone and used to it, some undoubtedly lonely, but many who are not, who are electively, or happily solitary, or who have simply physically transcended the pain of loneliness. I am thinking also about myself, rarely alone and yet frequently lonely. There are so, so many lives. Beautiful and ugly, poor and rich– not a single superficial category of human is immune to loneliness. I’d like to know what it seems like in other languages, at other ages. What is the biological function of unpleasant emotional sensations? Animals always seem to know what they ought to do. The human animal’s variant and often contradictory feelings and desires leave a gaping mystery as to what our “nature” naturally entails.