(sparing you the minutia of the MFA, which has consumed my life, my time, and most my words...)
I’m moving in with Jack.
At least until the summer. And then at least until the fall. (Who knows about next year.) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now: I almost cannot care about the endpoint. Every day I’m with him I’m a better woman.
And it’s not just him. I am two years shy of thirty, living in the only city in the continental United States with fangs. I have negative money—a dark and forking fault of debt just beneath my city walls. I’m still (fifteen months later) living out of what I salvaged from the wreckage of adult life: two bags of clothes, some books, a laptop and a massing stack of New Yorkers I’ll one day have time again to read. I have never been happier.
I’ve made uncertainty a way of life, performance poetry. I’m never sure how I will pay those mounting grad school bills, or where I’ll live. Or what I’ll eat. Or if my body will survive me.
But there is plenty that I do know (now with utmost certainty):
I am a writer. I can spend whole days just me and blinking cursor and admit to this out loud. When I read, I feel the ground beneath me. When I dance, I feel it leave. A humble meal made of courgettes and bendy carrots, cooked with someone who loves you, is finer than the finest five course menu in the world. You want the guy who pours the mueslix in the pasta water. I’m stronger than I thought I was. And mortal. I will go anywhere whenever asked, but I’m afraid to fly.
So, let me make these choices, Universe. They are the right ones. Protect me as I do.
Protect me as I trade the overpriced apartment with the elephants (and their subwoofer) upstairs for something rougher at the seams. The place that smells like fried chicken and has a tiny cockroach infestation (the cockroaches being tiny, not the infestation) for the place that smells like dusty books and frying chicken breasts (there lives four boys, and all of them philosophers). My home will be where Jack is: a carpeted, crumble-ceilinged den of books and papers scattered. Book tables holding empty cups of tea. Scattered tango shoes and underpants. Wooly jumpers on a thrift-store chair.
We spent a night apart last night (soon to be commodity). I asked if he was having doubts.
Quite the contrary, he said. I’m tidying some space for you. No second thoughts.