I am not poor, I am not rich; nihil est, nihil deest, I have little, I want nothing: all my treasure is in Minerva’s tower...I live still a collegiate student...and lead a monastic life, ipse mihi theatrum [sufficient entertainment to myself], sequestered from those tumults and troubles of the world...aulae vanitatem, fori ambitionem, ridere mecum soleo [I laugh to myself at the vanities of the court, the intrigues of public life], I laugh at all.
The new light above my table is a great improvement. With all this darkness around me I feel less alone. (Pause.) In a way. (Pause.) I love to get up and move about in it, then back here to... (hesitates) ...me. (Pause.)
People think coffee can be drunk with or without cream and sugar, but coffee can be drunk more ways than that. Coffee can be drunk awake or asleep, and coffee can be drunk by the cup, by the gallon, or by yourself.
I was surrounded by friends, my work was immense, and pleasures were abundant. Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil. Overall, I was happiest to be alone; for it was then I was most aware of what I possessed. Free to look out over the rooftops of the city. Happy to be alone in the company of friends, the company of lovers and strangers. Everything, I decided, in this life, was pure pleasure.
Ultimately what I like about reading together is that we all make it happen together. Of course even amid shared experience we’re still alone… each reading of each book is unique. But what a comfort it is to share readings and experiences. How lucky we are when we get to be alone together.