I'm fine. I mean, I'm fine. Solitude and self-reflection has always been kind of my default state, you know. Staring at walls. I was saying I need a break a long time before this happened. Already said which day would be my last day in a group of more than three people. So the government said two but that's okay. I mean it's fine. More than fine really, because now there are phones and the internet so I don't even have to miss anybody. Well of course I do, intensely, but I don't have to. Sure I think about death but I think about death all the time anyway. Maybe this is a living abroad thing, that you become keenly aware at some point that you will die far away from where you were born, not only far from the place but the people, far away from the girls you played hopscotch with, if you played hopscotch, the boys you kissed in empty classrooms during recess, if you kissed boys at all, the people you once had long phone conversations with, kinking and straightening the phone cord's coils as the conversation lagged, lifted, fell silent, back when we said goodbye before we left the conversation. We used to tell people to stop talking by clipping imaginary scissors in the air, as if to cut the cord; now we slash our own throats. All far away now. The first time I moved nobody died but we never spoke again anyway and the second time I moved a lot of people died and the third time I moved I was gone so long that whether or not they died a lot of people disappeared. Of course, some disappearances are a relief, a blessed silence. And some conversations continue in my head still. My fingers make a tentative snip in the air but I'm not ready to end those conversations. Sometimes you don't even have to move and the conversation ends anyway and I guess that's okay. Dragging my fingers across my throat, the words can't come out now, can they? I miss them, of course I miss them, but they aren't there anymore, not the way I miss them. One night I dreamed I was talking to a person about someone I had lost and they were the same person. See this is why I needed a break anyway. I mean I'm fine. One thing I did in addition to work which continues to roll in and insist on being so ordinary and normal and lovely, thank you work, you've always been there for me, anyway one thing I did was read through a virtual stack of letters looking for patterns. I look at the person I was and I think how was I that person. I see myself there like some caged animal where I am trying so hard to be myself and to be right and natural, a representative of myself in my own habitat, more or less, and I am also throwing shit at the bars of my prison, the spectators, zoos are terrible and it was myself put me in there. Do you know how hard it is to stay authentically yourself when part of that authentic self wishes more than anything to be loved. How many conversations have you had in which you translated your words from your own rich native language into a formula by which you hoped to be understood. I'm honestly not sure I know how to communicate any other way anymore. Consciously or otherwise, what's my goal here, that's what I'm moving towards. Sometimes I forget to ask what your goal is but sometimes everybody's goals are so damn clear. The last time I went out in public there were so many people, speaking and speaking, and each of them was saying listen to me like me admire me, nothing more, over and over, and they shouted over each other and I couldn't hear anything but their shouting and I left because I'm not sure I'm different. I would like to be.