Our initial impression of a person is pretty much entirely a mirage of guesswork and projection.

That Robert is smart and witty is true, but does the fact that someone’s smart and witty mean that he won’t murder you (as Margot wonders more than once), or assault you, or say something nasty to you if you reject him?

Of course it doesn’t, and the vertigo that Margot feels at several points in the story is the recognition of that uncertainty: it’s not that she knows that Robert is The first draft of the story came fairly easily—I wrote it in a feverish burst—but I did feel self-conscious, afterward, about the verisimilitude of the texts, especially because Margot is younger than I am and there’s nothing more embarrassing than someone older trying to mimic the communication style of a slightly different generation.

How had I decided that this was someone I could trust?

The incident got me thinking about the strange and flimsy evidence we use to judge the contextless people we meet outside our existing social networks, whether online or off.

She now splits her time between Los Angeles and New York in the USA. She does not identify as a lesbian or gay and once told Rolling Stone: "I don't think about those words. He said: "You never know what's coming in life.