What It’s Like Living Here,
by Allison Kaufman in Connecticut
Living by the Numbers
Seven days. You check your watch constantly. You live and die by the ping of the calendar on your phone. Realize that there is slight irony in the fact that you are writing of this place with only seven days left before there are seven states between you and this desk. Seven being the magic number, not in the lucky sort of way. Seven being the number of days that you work twenty-four hours. Seven being the number of blocks there are in the daily schedule.
It’s only been three years. You’ve done everything you can. You repeat this mantra.
You’ve been a parent now for three years. Not biologically, but in dorms. You sleep in an apartment that is likely larger than any you will ever own. There are 10-foot ceilings, a handrail that snakes around the living room, and a kitchen whose appliances and cabinetry are older than you are. You install pendant lighting. You paint (Nantucket Grey).
Your charges in your first year were 16 junior and senior girls. Your toughest disciplinary issue was dealing with a girl who left a douchebag (literally) with a bow on it in front of a neighbor’s room. You fought laughter while scolding the seventeen-year-olds. You noted that there were only 4 years separating you from them. You wished you had thought of the douchebag gift your senior year of college; a roommate of yours, the one you and your friends called Sandy Vagina, could have used a wakeup call.