Real Life is on winter break. We’ve put together eight SPECIAL ISSUES for your consideration. We’ll publish one a day, each selected by an editor and based on a thematic topic. Click the image below for a pdf. And please enjoy these mid-season reruns until we return to our usual scheduled program.

Nervousness, Jane Frances Dunlop writes, “marks the work of entanglement” — it’s the experience of static. Unlike social anxiety, which seals us inside ourselves, “nervousness is like a glitch… it makes it possible for us to perceive the systems that we work through,” those which online networks reify. Getting together is a need — to withhold it from others is a form of deprivation or torture; to refuse it can be a form of self-harm, or evil — and there is no having gotten together, only a never-satisfied effort whose requirements change by the moment, detectable by its failures, identified as longing, longing alongside. Empathy is insufficient. But it makes life livable. There is no triumph over evil, but evil does not touch the good; the good, like the evil, is in others. —Alexandra Molotkow, Editor


“Auto Format,” by Navneet Alang


“Worlds Apart,” by Sarah Beller


“Nervous? We Should Be,” by Jane Frances Dunlop


“Quick Fix,” by Naomi Skwarna 


Alexandra Molotkow is a senior editor at Real Life magazine. She was a founding editor of Hazlitt and an editor at the Hairpin. She has written for the Believer, the New York Times Magazine, the Cut and the New Republic.