Last Saturday was Abel’s wedding, but I was in no mood to be happy. I played the irritable crank. Perhaps I dreaded the customary talking to come. A part of me was already expecting periods of awkward silence at the dinner table with cousins I never talk with anymore. I already did not know what to do with myself at the reception. I stood beside the reception table, picking self-consciously at a bowl of tidbits. I visited the toilet for the umpteenth time. I offered a weak smile to anyone who ventured to converse. In short, I failed to be social. The joy of relaxed conversation among a group of close friends, without feeling defensive, or embarassed, or inadequate, or stupid, is a faraway memory. I have known this vaguely for some time, but it hurts to write this down plainly. It is a terrible thing to be degraded in one’s estimation.