I often long for something in the presence of other people, even while I'm enjoying their company. I'm longing for the person I am when I'm alone, who unfortunately can't join us. These essays are an attempt to subvert the dilemma. Can their tone of longing, with its implication of distance pass for a variety of love?
-from the Preface
She studied the paintings, and from a respectful distance,I studied her-a paintable woman if there ever was one. She disappeared in the galleries, which made perfect sense: I'd dreamed her up, and now she had returned forever to the kingdom of dreams. No, there she was in front of The Annunciation, a dubious look on her face as she regarded the cherubs piled up like wood shavings around Mary, who was just then receiving the word from on high; "Guess what? You're pregnant."
-from "The Woman in Question "