“You can go for weeks without touching another human being. Sure, there’s the occasional brush of the shoulder on a city street, or the brief jolt of an elbow at a crowded show. Those are accidents. But actively being touched, or actively touching somebody else: this is not a regular occurrence. Go without for long enough, and you might forget you’re missing anything. Of course, you feel an inexplicable, mild loneliness—but you can’t put your finger on its cause (pun intended).
Occasionally you’ll find somebody who reminds you that perhaps it’s worth it to risk your shelled safety. You’ll allow yourself the luxury of being touched, and the happiness of touching. Here I refer not to the sexual, but to the sweet and gentle: a kiss, the light scent of someone else’s skin. And then, suddenly and unexpectedly, it’ll be gone, and you’ll have to learn to forget.”