I was enjoying the sea at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and when I bent over to snatch a shell out of the water, a wave picked up my body board and smacked it into my face, knocking me over into the surf. It made a funny thunk when it hit my cheekbone, like a cartoon. I laughed and laughed, and all of a sudden realized I was alone out there, with nobody to share it with. Then I felt the most intense loneliness I’ve ever felt and burst into tears, and just floated in the ocean for a while, letting the tears come and the salt water wash them away. It was rather cathartic, and it made me realize how lucky I am to not feel that way very often.