in an apartment kitchen, alone

“The Bookshop” hangs suspended at the scene where Ms. Green meets Mr. Brundish. Halfway through the movie, they’re having tea together in an ill-lit dining room that looks like it used to boast grand parties. His white hair feels vaguely reminiscent of Albert Einstein, except if Einstein had made it a habit to carefully comb back his hair and tidy his beard and wear collars that sat straight around his neck, at attention like a circle of children playing duck-duck-goose.

My hands smell like dish soap. The rough sponge still lingers against my palms though my fingers itch to feel the careful raise found on the “f” and “j” keys, orienting my thoughts around the keyboard. My laptop brightness is so low I can hear my mother teasing me about it.

The Band CAMINO always succeeds in channeling creativity. Coffee shop vibes, with a touch of romance and just a little too much caffeine. Their music is nostalgic. Maybe that’s why they make me regret the past and hope for the future all at once.

Drew told us we could write about anything. He told us one student wrote about coffee. I’ve wanted to write an essay about coffee for so long that I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever happen.

There’s a mug in the shape of a pig to my right, from which I occasional draw large gulps of water. My mother gave it to me, and it came with a teaspoon which I have since lost in all the chaos of moving several times a year.

I don’t really know why I’m writing this. A moment ago I was eating dim sum leftovers out of a pink plastic bowl from Target, watching a movie and feeling inexplicably anxious. Loneliness creeps in at strange times, even when what I want most is to be alone. Everyone was in the city or had weekend plans, and I was stuck here with my work and my thoughts and my deadlines.

Is this the fear of missing out?

Then I washed the dishes and somehow that one mundane act helped to center and ground me again, and I felt the urge to document this eternal present moment that keeps moving on and staying still all at once.

The train shakes the ground beneath my feet. I thought I would hate its sound, its long, drawn out whistles, but instead I find myself comforted by its presence. It has a story, too, and when it rushes by I like to think it’s sharing that story with anybody that cares to stop and listen.

The ceiling is just as squeaky as ever before. I can hear everything that happens upstairs and I’m not sure if that’s less ideal for me or for them.

Emily has just told me about this amazing donut and ice cream place in Chicago that we must visit the next time we have a roomie date, ideally after pay day (whenever that comes around).

I’m in another weird head space where I can only see the world in vignettes. Nothing seems entirely cohesive, but when I can isolate a single stimulus or object of interest, my feet stop fearfully tapping the linoleum floor and my heart calms for a moment.

Water helps. Coffee doesn’t.

I still haven’t quite mastered the perfect rice:water ratio, but I texted my mom so hopefully she’ll be able to help me out.

I miss home.

Why is it only 7:30pm?

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