It's rare that a person will begin to tear up during the soundcheck of a podcast record.
The timing of tears during a podcast should behave like that slightly estranged aunt who sometimes makes a surprise appearance on Christmas Day. Arriving in the middle of the emotional madness and then silently slipping away as the festivities begin to wind down.
But that's not how things played out on this particular day, as the audio producer yanked and twisted the microphone of the guest host sitting across from me and then raced behind the sound desk to investigate if the temperamental machine was actually coming close to recording a human voice.
As the failed soundcheck progressed, the producer was running out of the mundane questions usually thrown at hosts to test out the mics. With 'what did you have for breakfast?' and 'what TV show are you watching right now?' exhausted she threw out the seemingly harmless 'what are you doing this weekend?'.
The microphone chose this moment to miraculously resurrect itself, but its thunder was stolen by the tears that had begun to well very slightly in my co-host's eyes, as she struggled to answer a question that had been picked for its supposed ease of answering.
"I'm not doing anything," she eventually said. "I don't really have any friends."
Over the past few months, this moment has regularly crept back into my thoughts and set up home there, much like an old-school radio jingle destined to outlive the item it was created to sell.
Not out of pity, sorrow or even concern but, because it was voiced by someone we've always been taught had found the ultimate escape hatch when it came to evading loneliness: Someone in a long-term relationship with a loving partner. Someone who happily shared a life, a home, meals, and pets with another person, who was willing to share an electricity bill with them as long as they both shall live.