What if loneliness is just a bad friend, you know, one you hang around with but know isn’t good for you. I had a visual cue of this idea in the hotel outside of Venice. At dinner I sat next to a man also dining alone. My immediate thought of seeing him, face downward toward his plate, was that he was not dining but eating. And that’s what I’d be doing as I took the empty table next to him. Why not engage him in conversation? (I have the stupidest better angels; they don’t know me at all.) So we both sat across from one another and ate alone.