You seem buried. Under what?

Heat. Inertia. The shrinking of the social world. The loss of contact. The weight of distance.

But you were never a social being, were you?

Nor was I a hermit. We’re all on the spectrum, as they say.

Didn’t you once crave solitude?

And I shall crave it again. But I miss what I once dismissed, or took in small doses. I held the social world at bay. It threatened to invade.

But, as Cavafy warned, you don’t know what to do now that the barbarians are no longer at the gates, do you?

You’re quite good at disguising statements as questions. And interjecting the great poet of nostalgia to keep me off guard. But yes, now that the social world has disappeared, I miss it. I always wanted it to be there, in the next room. I liked hearing the sounds of other people’s conversations. The tinkling of glasses. The scraping of chairs being pulled back from tables. A guitar. I could visit when I needed, and the possibility sustained me more often than the visits themselves.

What will save you?

Autumn, perhaps, when loss feels like a gift rather than a burden.

You have mentioned the belief in the season before. Are you starting to repeat yourself?

A thirty man never stops needing water.

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