…Surely, there is nothing wrong with being alone at night. This is the time of the evening, after all, when one’s best thinking is done. And if someone was to knock on the door, why, that would disturb you, and if they were to come inside, an additional disruption — as you would have to stand up, and converse, and serve them drinks, perhaps. And the leaving is far worse than the arriving, far, far worse — with the See you soons and Until we meet agains, and the disordered gathering of belongings — and then the final exit, with a gust of wind being sucked out through the door; the wind forming a vacuum, like the intake of one’s breath through the teeth. …No, it is far better, then, to be alone like this at night, to be perched attentively in a chair in the darkness, your eyes watching the doorknob closely, to make sure that no one enters, no one comes in.

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