By Phuongthao Hoang ’22. Art by Laila Rodenbeck ’22.
Third week of the ninth month. Introduce myself to people
who drive Rolls Royce or Mercedes-Benz. Will I even
remember the brunette named Sierra? The swimmer named
Nico? Receive texts from my best friends because Grace has
kissed five boys, because Renee has smoked five cigars. Are
these people still my best friends? Wonder if I could make
a name, or a future, if I were to drop out of school, if I were
to pioneer a path in Ripley’s Believe It or Not: “fastest
dropout” or “smallest potential.” Seconds
all the time.
Third week of the eleventh month. Eat dinner with family:
Ashley and Josh. Play Settlers of Catan with brothers: Steven
and Haisong. Dance with sisters: Auria and Lavanya. Learn
to live without texts by the hour: Grace or Renee. Adapt
to the Providence air, to the Providence traffic. Appreciate
the Thayer noise, and wish to never leave. Home is a feeling,
and I do not feel displaced. Loneliness is an epidemic, one
that I survived. Better believe it, Ripley. Victim
here I stay.
Third day of the twelfth month. Taught myself to live
in a suburb called West Hartford just like taught myself
to live in a city called Providence. But the mountains
of Talcott pollute the streets of Thayer. Do not know how
to fall into comfort, I did it before. Do not know how
to detox from home, I am addicted. Mourn the death
of the comfort I once had: Why the fuck did Ashley
and Josh have dinner together, alone? Vulnerable
I need someone.