Every once in a while, I realize that the fact that four or five people out on the internets agree with some of the things I think doesn't change the fact that there's a few billion people out there, at a variety of points on various social, political, and religious spectra, who would gladly stone me to death if they could only get at me.
When I do realize that, it's important to a) get over myself and b) stop and get lunch.
God, though, how overpowering the sense of loneliness and desolation can be! And yet a good meal, a kind word, the touch of a hand, or unexpected good news -- however trivial -- can unseat it in a moment. I limp homeward as shreds of the sky fall, and panicked chickens slash my bare feet with their claws as they rush by. And even so, the stars trace their precise wheels on the far side of the world, and even, invisibly, on this side, turning like the edge of a pizza slicer. (And what rough crust, its hour come round at last, is lifting from the pan?)
I asked my client when her knee began to hurt. It was when she was sixteen, she said, when she was running down stone steps to catch a train in Zurich. Which I reckoned, as I pieced all the information together, was eighty years ago. Not much stays with us longer than the echoes of those moments of surprise and pain.