A Love Letter to My Roommates

Dear 1003, 

I still remember the time we paraded through Haymarket, a single file line of three dazed amateurs and one focused leader expertly winding through the narrow spaces between tables. It was a cold and rainy January night, the kind of weather that I would’ve avoided on my own. The energy in the air was what propelled me forward. Ahead of me, our fur coat-clad head chef talks to market vendors with a familiar ease, guiding us from table to table with marked precision.

“Cherries?” she called back to me, holding up a plastic bag of fruit she just bought. I reached out a hand and she dumped a handful of cherries into my rain-soaked palm. People brushed past the four of us on the curb, wet cherries in hand and planning our retreat. The trek back to campus was going to be miserable, but the night was one of those spontaneous moments that I knew would be worth it in the end.

We stumbled into the dorm’s community kitchen, each of us holding an array of ingredients, bowls, pans, and utensils. It was getting late and we were starving, but for the next hour, we told stories while we chopped the fresh vegetables we just bought. It’d been a long time since someone cooked me a meal completely from scratch, so when the bowl of ramen was finally placed in front of me, I savored it. 

And I still think of that last night meal we all had together, a mess of bodies on a concrete floor and empty containers of breakfast food covering the rug. “For just this one night,” I announced to you all, “I want to not think about the world.” So I didn’t.

I didn’t think about the way I was moving out the next morning, saying goodbye to Emerson’s campus with the desperate hope I’d be seeing it again in September. I didn’t think about the way I sobbed on this same floor a few days earlier, holding your hands until I could trust myself to breathe again. I didn’t think about the way that everything I touched felt like it could be poison, poison that made me terrified to soon be in the same space as my parents with preexisting conditions that made them especially at risk for a severe case of the coronavirus.

Instead, I laughed. I stayed up until 2 in the morning, when all but two of us had gone to bed, talking about how much I loved the Lights album by Ellie Goulding when I was in middle school and the pure joy of peanut butter and banana pancakes (thank you, Friendly Toast). We listened to our favorite music under glow-in-the-dark stars. I would spend every night on that floor if I could.

To my 1003 crew: thank you for building a temporary home with me, for finding the beauty in everyday objects and creating art on every wall you could. Thank you for buying me flowers on Valentine’s Day, collaborating with me on Spotify playlists, and building pillow forts for sleepovers. Thank you for being there in my good times and bad, for letting me turn off all intelligent thoughts and playing Mario Kart with me for hours. 

I miss coming home to you all. You brought life to a space that I never thought could be brightened, and you gave me friendships I didn’t know I was missing. I know things are hard right now and we’re all waiting for the day we can return to our city, but we will be back. And when we are, I’m going to hold you all so tight and never let go.

Love,

The Girl Who’s Got You Running Circles Again, and Definitely Not a Sagittarius