Why you need to have one is not much more mysterious than why you don't say what you think at the birth of an ugly baby. Or, you've just made love and feel you'd rather have been in a dark booth where your partner was nodding, whispering yes, yes, you're brilliant. The secret life begins early, is kept alive by all that's unpopular in you, all that you know a Baptist, say, or some other accountant would object to. It becomes what you'd most protect if the government said you can protect one thing, all else is ours. When you write late at night it's like a small fire in a clearing, it's what radiates and what can hurt if you get too close to it. It's why your silence is a kind of truth. Even when you speak to your best friend, the one who'll never betray you, you always leave out one thing; a secret life is that important.