I bask in the silence of my freshly packed-up, on-campus apartment as I crunch through a $1 bag of purple grapes. I’m sitting on the floor, leaning against the closet my roommate and I shared. The closet is completely empty now, an odd sight considering the volcanoes of clothing and empty shopping bags she and I both hid behind the cream-colored double-doors.
I was the first to settle into our room back at the start of this year. Among a spontaneity-embedded weekend of taking the train between San Diego and LA, I started sorting my belongings into new homes: a haphazardly-made bed, empty hangers waiting for clothes, books on desk shelves closely following. My new roommate hadn’t moved in yet. As I sit here now, my lovely roommate has just finished moving out (big shoutout, she’s the best), my books are safely stowed away, and my bed remains half-intact for the final night of this school year. Continue reading
Spring quarter often brings long days and late nights holed up with leftovers and hot water in homes outside home, at the tip of a mundane hill.
Many nights–ones that contain spending upwards of seven hours in a glorified closet on the farthest outskirts of campus–send me clattering down the hill on a rental bike in avoidance of a midnight walk under broken street lamps, fluorescent metal frame creaking on cement and cobblestone. The new building’s lights are still on, flooding the walkway’s outlined squares with butter yellow. Whisk past wooden structures–student center, bookstore, branches squealing in protest of slight wind. This courtyard’s lawn is bigger than students left it this morning. Cross a lake–no, puddle–and startle at an awoken sprinkler. Continue reading
Back in November, the week of Thanksgiving break (actually, the night before Thanksgiving day), I found myself stranded at 12:35am with fifty other people and steady rain in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles. Usually, I fly back to the Bay Area from my school in San Diego– if I book my tickets sufficiently in advance, the costs are worth the visit back home; however, this time, I didn’t book my flight tickets early enough. Seat availability plummeted, prices skyrocketed, and I decided that taking the budget-friendly bus would be a good alternative.
I didn’t sleep more than an hour that night. We ended up left in that parking lot for reasons I’m to this day unsure of– the bus driver had stopped, told us all to vacate the bus because we were supposed to transfer, and promptly drove off as soon as the last person had removed their bag from the under-bus storage. Needless to say, there was no transfer.
We were in that parking lot for about an hour and a half until the company sent a replacement bus to pick us up. I tried to doze off again on this bus, but the frigid air blowing through the vents kept my mind active even though my body was craving rest. We made it to San Francisco by seven thirty in the morning, and I reached my home by eight. Continue reading
One of my apartment mates walked in today, talking in a mix of English and Cantonese about herbal soup. Her mom was on the other end of the line, directing her towards the freezer and then the sink: “Wait, let me video call you…I defrost the chicken like this? Like, just put it under hot water? Okay, now what else do I add to the pot? How long will it take?” My roommate emerged from our double, joining my apartment mate in the kitchen. “Oh, my mom’s made this before, too. Looks good.”
I continued clicking through my chemistry homework with a smile. Many of my evenings hold similar conversations with my own mom: “How much jeera powder should I use in this? Will my khichdi last another couple days? Do I really need rasam powder to make rasam?” Every time, she laughs at how much I overthink my food. “It’s easy, Arya. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.”
Hermit crabs are my friends.
It’s been a few days of Adulthood™ now. Pretty much nothing has changed, but I must say I am excited by the thought that I could go get another ear piercing right now if I wanted to (don’t worry, Mom, I’m not actually going to– it’s more expensive down here in San Diego anyway).
Music through the month of November.