Here I am, sitting in my pajamas, and still waking up. In real life, no one I don't live with will be trying to talk to me, unless it's an emergency. But the internet eliminates not only distance, but space itself. There are no walls to keep people out, only corners to hide in; no locks on these doors, they swing open whenever someone pushes on them. I don't want to talk to you, but somehow I have signaled that I am available. You owe me nothing, but somehow you believe it would be good to check up on me. Why? I don't want your protection or attention. I don't want you to take care of me.
Didn't the lines I drew between us tell you anything? What have I done to make you think I want you to be the one to check in on me? You are not my father, not my brother, not my husband, not my lover. You have no right to my morning.
And yet I cannot ignore the salutation, cannot leave the question unanswered--"Good morning. How is the paper coming?" I cannot help replying. I tell myself it is more loving to be at least minimally polite. Small matter if I cannot summon up a smile to go along. He is not physically present, at least, to see my irritation. It is easy, so easy, to hide feelings behind words. Words shine lights and cast shadows, and I can leave the feelings in the dark places where they will go unnoticed. Already my feelings tend to cower in the corners. The hard thing is to use words to light up the dark places, to reveal, rather than conceal.