“I should not be among people. Perhaps this is obvious, but the idea has come to me like a revelation, just as it has before. This is the way I do it. The way I live. Would you be surprised to know I went to law school once? Would it mean something to you to know that when I was sixteen, I lost my virginity to a woman twice my age? A friend of my parents? Would you like to know some of the things about my parents that would help you to understand, the things they said or did? Would it help to know how, when I enter a new town, I can build an entire person from a stolen piece of mail or a simple story I have invented?
“Who cares? I should not be among people, and so I have taken myself away again, to a place where there are few of them, and the land runs flat in every direction. I am being someone new. My days are long and mostly silent. I have been here before, you know. After Kodiak. After Bandon. After Animas. All by myself in a place that is new, inside days with no people. I have been inside these days before, and they feel like the right place to be for a long time, but then that changes. Would you like to understand that change? Would you like to know what it is about me, who should not be among people, that eventually brings me back among people? It is simple. Simplify your thinking.
“I get lonely.”
—Shawn Vestal, “Please Give Me One Good Reason Not to Hate You”