Small Town Girl

Woman at an airport with sunglasses

“Should I go home? No, that’s silly. I can’t quit, I’m NOT a quitter!” Thoughts raced through my mind as I walked back to my Carroll Gardens sublet apartment from TJ’s, carrying enough groceries to last three weeks, or so I hope. There’s no more pasta - I got the last two bags of gnocchi. All bananas were gone too, so was rice, cookies, beans, among other things. I had heard about the toilet paper but I didn’t realize it could be food too. The walk back felt strange, although everything looked the same. I knew it would take a while until it’s normal again, but I refused to believe it. Hah! Haven’t we been doing that for the last three months? We knew it was coming - it was already spreading, but we just couldn’t fathom it would happen to us... here... in New York, right?! The most international city in the world?

The cat didn’t come to greet me when I entered the apartment, so my roommate must be in. She is a rare sight. I can see her suitcase is out. She is on the phone with her mom. “No, I am not scared about getting it but I can’t imagine living here - people are going crazy! I can’t find food. I will starve if I stay here.” I roll my eyes as I unpack my groceries. If there is no food, it will be restocked, I’m sure. She continues talking: more exaggeration of the situation - she plans to stay at an airbnb for a week first - she can’t risk getting the parents sick - she won’t take the cat with her - her mom suggests to bring the cat because she’ll be there for at least two months - she won’t believe her mom’s reckoning.

Should I go home too? I’ll be alone and there might not be food, or help. I’ve been apartment hunting this month because my sublet is up. I haven’t yet found an apartment I am happy with. Maybe it makes sense to move back to my parents’ in Sask and live for free instead of spending 2K a month on a 5th-floor walk-up with a stinky bathroom and likely inconsiderate roommates
who won’t care about distancing.

My company has now mandated WFH. My sublet is almost up and I still haven’t found a place. Even taking the subway is scary. I don’t have a mask so I cover my face with a bandana and sunglasses; I always kept a tiny sanitizer with me, so that’s no different.

Maybe it’s okay to move back home? I am unsure how I’d get help if I need it - when I need it. I don’t even know how insurance works for emergencies. I know nobody here. And it’s not like anybody would help even if I knew them - nobody is risking anything! Would leaving make me a failure? Just a small town girl, living in a lonely wooooorld. She took the midnight train going.... back home.


I am going home.