Sitting here after spending another late morning abed with a book, I came to think for a moment: those authors whose books meant so much to me when I was growing up, they are as much older than me now as they were then — and I’m now in my middle age. Some of them have left us altogether; indeed some of them were no longer living even when I first learned to read. For those who do remain, there is some limit, unknowable but finite, to the work they can yet create to move, inspire, and change us all. I am thankful for them, and for the next generation, and the next one after that, just now rising into their talents.

And yet, even the most heartwarming new tale often leaves me aching. Why can’t I have even a tiny bit of that? I ask myself. Am I so undesirable a person, that no one should ever take even the slightest interest? It is the question, the hurt, that has defined my entire adult life. Perhaps some day, I’ll have an answer. Until then, I’ll keep on living the only way I know how — and keep on reading. And crying.

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