Every only child knows there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. Growing up in Manhattan, I was a master at entertaining myself; I had an older half sister, but she didn’t live with me, so I was usually my own favorite company.
There was one phase I went through — I was 6 at the time, maybe 7 — when I would get home from school, race upstairs and close my door. I didn’t have homework yet. I was working on something far more sophisticated than coloring books or puzzles. I was playing Office. In order to play Office, I had to get into character. I would don one of my dad’s suit jackets — I preferred a nice gray pinstripe — and would attempt to balance a spare pair of his glasses on my small snub nose. Sometimes I would shuffle around in his wingtips. Then I would organize piles of papers on my desk, filing them away in folders once they had been properly reviewed. If the mood struck me, I pretended to read The Wall Street Journal.