MY LIFE IS PRETTY SIMPLE. I don’t have too many complications. I’m a happy person. These things are known.
The first three thoughts that go through my mind each day are:
It’s less crowded here than I thought.
I hope Tessa is off work today so we can hang out.
I miss my mom.
Yes, I’m a sophomore at New York University, but my mom is one of my best friends.
I miss home a lot. It helps to have Tessa around; she’s the closest thing to family I have out here.
I know college students do this all the time; they leave home and can’t wait to be away from their hometowns, but not me. I happened to like mine, even if it’s not where I grew up. I didn’t mind living in Washington for my senior year and then my first year of college—it was becoming my home. I had a family there and found a new best friend. The only, and biggest, thing missing was Dakota, my longtime girlfriend. So when she got accepted into one of the best ballet academies in the country, I agreed to move to New York City with her. I had a plan at the time I applied to NYU; it just didn’t work out the way it was supposed to. I was supposed to move here and start my future with her. I had no idea that she would decide she wanted to spend her first year at college single.
I was devastated. I still am, but I want her to be happy, even if it’s not with me.
The city’s chilly in September, but there’s barely any rain compared to Washington State. So that’s something, at least.
As I walk to work, I check my phone, like I do about fifty times a day. My mom’s pregnant with my little sister, and I want to be sure that if anything happens, I can get on a plane and be there for her quickly. My mom and Ken chose the name Abigail and I can’t wait to meet the little one. I’ve never really been around babies, but little Abby is already my favorite baby in the world. However, so far the only messages from my mom have been pictures of the amazing things she whips up in the kitchen.
Not emergencies, but, man, I miss her cooking.
The streets are mobbed as I make my way to work. I’m waiting at a crosswalk with a crowd of people, mostly tourists with heavy cameras around their necks. I laugh to myself when a teenage boy holds up a giant iPad to take a selfie.
I will never understand this impulse.
When the crosswalk starts flashing its red countdown, I turn up the volume on my headphones.
Out here I pretty much wear headphones all day. The city is so much louder than I had anticipated, and I find it helpful to have something that blocks