"Give me 3OO words on isolation, Buffy." Hmm... why not? That's what's happening to me, right now. Well, first off, I think the dictionary should add the exclamation mark. Call it "Isolation!" instead. Such is the power and brutality it has. It's a strange old beast. Or rather, it's a machine... that's how I see it. THE DOME OF ISOLATION! Good old 195Os sci-fi, that. A thick, plastic dome on a mechanical arm... it acts without warning, plunging down through the sky to land on me. Just me. So there I am, puny prisoner, hammering to be set free. The rest of the world is set apart: united in its being on the other side of the divide. Neither transparent nor opaque, the dome's difficult to see thru... I know people are there, outside. I can see them. I can sort of hear them talking. But even though they might be smiling, the warped dome make it look like they all might be grimacing at me? Faces of derision, or scorn? Some might even be snarling? Unsettling -- and diabolical. And the Dome's got a most efficient refrigeration system: It's bloody cold in here. I can't deny that I'd really like a good pair of arms to hold me tight. And I would rather deny it... because I loathe my vulnerability. Utterly detest it. So here I am. In The Dome of Isolation! For now. The thing is, though I beat myself up about my personal shortcomings... the truth remains that: Were I much more hunky and handsome? Were I much more witty and wise? Were I a much more fabulous conversationalist? The Dome of Isolation wouldn't care for any of that. It'd do its job on me, just the same. So I suppose that's the sparkle of gold in this bag of crap? IT'S A GOOD LEVELLER.