May 11, 2016:

No sense of age. She could be a college girl, she could be a teenager. She's younger than my mother and her smile is lovely.

I'm texting with my artist friend, in a country on another continent. She's in bed, in the dark, lonely, anxious, thinking of Baudelaire and SSRIs. I'm in the sun in a beautiful garden eating healthy food and experiencing the smiles of girls. Yet almost as anxious as her.

The lovely student sees me, smiles. What does she know of the darkness my friend lives inside, the darkness I fear? Her smile suggests: nothing. That her sunny world is not our dark one. Exactly the reason her smile draws me as it does, like the proverbial moth, like the proverbial cave dweller, attracted to the light of ignorance.