I went to Paris to visit a writer I admired. Because I was not confident he really wanted me to be there, he promised me that he did and we hugged for a long time but he let go first and I was not completely reassured. In his apartment he had taken my photograph when I had just finished showering and was looking rather dishevelled because I had dressed hurriedly and I asked if he would take another one later, or if maybe we could take a selfie together. He was very smartly dressed, he said he always dressed like this. I wondered if he would post the photo to his social media, as he sometimes did with other writers he had met, or if I wasn’t famous or interesting enough. Then I wondered if I would post the photo to my own social media, either if he posted it, or if he didn’t, because I didn’t very often post such pictures, I didn’t like the way they came across. I wanted to appear secure and aloof but it seemed to me that what such pictures conveyed was quite the opposite, even though that wasn’t their intention. Actually it was partly this tendency that made me like this writer (who I liked so much without ever having, until now, met him, that I had dreams about hanging out with him in Paris), the idea of the insecurities that might lie behind his social media feed, which is to say his personality, as I imagined it, the traces of which, sensed digitally, had slid under my skin like a secret divulged only to me. This sense made me think that perhaps I should post the photo, because I wouldn’t want him to think that I wasn’t excited to meet him, which I was, or that I didn’t want people to know we had met and been intimate enough to collaborate on such a photo, which I did, even if the posting of it revealed I did not feel secure in the collaboration. But I thought quite a lot of people probably would not pick up on this, being too preoccupied with their own insecurities, and after all what was there to cause me to feel insecure? He had done almost everything in his power to assure me that I had every reason to feel secure, except by going to such lengths that he himself would feel insecure in the event that I failed to assure him of his security.

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