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Loneliness is the basic universal human condition, and it is also the basic universal human fear. Not able to escape, all human beings spend their lives trying to escape from or alleviate their loneliness. This is the true reason for marriage, procreation and very possibly even sex. But there is no such thing as constant complete communication between humans. If very simple, people believe that bodies, presence, noise, voices work as an antidote to loneliness. Perhaps, for the simple and for the exact time of presence etc., this is a recipe. I don’t find it so. I think you have to accept loneliness as the ground you stand on. For me, not to be responsible to or for any single human being is the definition of loneliness – each person must have a different definition. But I do accept that I have always been basically lonely; it is not only my nature but also my perception of life.
—  Martha Gellhorn, from Selected Letters