I do not wear my fear, misery and loneliness on my sleeve as they wouldn't match my sparkling blue eyes, my dazzling smile, or even my comical hair. And yet.
I sat between the Bridge Crew last night at my sister's birthday dinner. Riker, who daily grows in confidence and poise, was holding forth, regaling the company with genius jokes such as 'What's brown and sticky? A brown stick!'. Data, for once, did not appear to feel the need to compete, intent as she was on hoovering the birthday girl's mozzarella into her gaping maw. And yet.
I don't think I seemed down, particularly. I made the decision early on to dump Purple and cab it home, and was at this point working my way steadily through the bountiful red wine. I was joining in the conversation, I was not being openly hostile to Hans, I was most certainly not holding my head in my hands, rocking with racked and shuddering sobs. And yet.
Data, momentarily sated by casein, turned to me. As Riker and my sister wrangled over which tosspot deserved elimination from the cunting X-Factor, my four year old looked me in the eye and asked with genuine concern, 'Are you ok?'
I thought I must have misheard her, or at minimum misunderstood the feeling in which the question was mired, so I said, 'What did you say, sweetie?' She repeated herself, with no let up in the worry, the empathy.
'I'm fine, Data, I'm fine. Have some more mozzarella.'