August 10, 2019:
I'd been lonely before.
When I was nine my mother uprooted us. She wanted to live closer to her bestie. With the narcissistic myopia of adults who project their inner lives onto their children she falsely believed that her bestie's son was my bestie, so that with perfect generational symmetry I'd love the change as much as she. In reality I was devastated. My true friends were Pam and Wes and Lulu, neighborhood kids I'd loved since infancy. When she tore me away from them I grieved for years.
I mean this literally. I thought of them day after day. Within hours of receiving my first bicycle I rode it 40 miles across town and back hoping to see them. I didn't.
Uprooting became a major theme in my emotional history. Where change means loss of treasured friendships, disruption of support networks, isolation. The pervasive sense of un-belonging, forever in the wrong place with the wrong people, living the wrong life.