March 27, 2019:

She'd never communicated well. But from that moment forward she stopped any attempt, speaking, as her father did, in monosyllables implying "Leave me alone." Irritated to be drawn out of her head.

Years later she told me, "No-one ever taught me how to communicate." I responded, with some bitterness, "I'd start by letting people finish their sentences without cutting them off." I suppose that bitterness was inevitable. It was unlikely to have been helpful.

It's possible to piece together the outlines of an explanation, from her isolated disclosures, from the fuller but unwanted self-exculpations her mother insisted on. But it can only ever be readings from tea leaves. Exactly the model for so many future relationships with women I hoped but failed to be close with.