February 26, 2001

we looked for an apartment this weekend, driving around in circles in the pouring rain. at the first place we saw, i fell down several slippery steps, scratching my elbows, bruising my thighs and landing on my butt, and i wanted to give up right then. we saw a few more apartments: a house that smelled like cat pee, a townhouse that looked like melrose place and a building that reminded me of a motel where somebody in a movie would get shot and bodybagged.

we did not find a home.

on sunday morning, my parents called. one minute i was talking about hardwood floors, the next minute i was bursting into tears. i sniffled into the receiver and wiped my eyes on my pillow as my mom kept saying, “stop crying na,” in that tone of voice that only made me cry more when i was a young girl. i wasn’t to the point where i couldn’t breathe, but i was close. i was blubbering. “i don’t know where i’m going to live and i am getting so old and i don’t know what i am doing with my life and i am never going to get to new york and i don’t even like LA,” i whimpered, inbetween sobs.

it was, perhaps, a bit ridiculous. i can laugh about it now, but at that moment there was nothing but tears. i just wanted to crumple myself into a ball and roll away.

“just take it one step at a time,” my mom said. “you have options. you have time.”

i know i do, but i guess i would much prefer a quick fix. sweep it under the carpet, stick a band-aid on it, cover the hole with a lovely framed print. there, that is so much better, now let’s get on with our lives.

what i easily forget is that this is my life. i can’t stuff things in a closet or hide them under my bed. i can’t make arbitrary choices or hasty decisions. i can’t settle. well, i can, but i shouldn’t. i know better. i deserve better, too.


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