I live alone now and I work hard every day.

And when I am not working I am otherwise occupied.

I don’t see anyone I have no desire to see.

It is easy to screen calls and avoid answering emails,

and then they peter out.  I love a long day

when the night promises nothing more than silence, solitude, music

lamplight, the time broken by maybe half an hour on

Gaydar to see if there is anyone new, or even

anyone familiar, in the city center who might stop by

for what they commonly call sex with no strings attached.

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Paraphrases from the short story collection The Empty Family Colm Tóibín.

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