"In these situations I felt liberated from the persistent weight of loneliness, the sensation of wrongness, the agitation around stigma and judgement and visibility. But it didn't take much to shatter the illusion of self-forgetfulness, to bring me back not only to myself but to the familiar, excruciating sense of lack. Sometimes the trigger was visual - a couple holding hands, something as trivial and innocuous as that. But more often it had to do with language, with the need to communicate, to understand and make myself understood via the medium of speech."
- Olivia Laing
The Lonely City