Looking for Someone, Maybe You
My boss on the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS needed me to satisfy Susan. He mentioned that she, a hardworking designer, wanted to get out extra. Imagining that meant “couldn’t get a date,” I felt extra resigned than comfortable. “How will I know you?” she requested over the telephone. “I’ll be the 5-foot-9 woman who looks like I’m looking for someone.” She replied, “I’ll be the 6-footer looking for you.” Susan entered the Noho Star, now completely closed, in a cloud of colourful cloth. I used to be agog, pondering, “I’m not introducing her to anyone.” I’m nonetheless agog. — Rosemary Kuropat
When Snow Melts
Wonder Woman’s eyes on my ninth grade journal illicit sharp reminiscences. I bought the pocket book once I was 14, a new scholar in a new state. Hounded by an inner villain wielding a whip of self-doubt, I attempted to emulate Wonder Woman’s power. The pages describe a younger dancer terrified of being “an ugly, stumbling little snowflake who you could miss in a blink.” Now, at 18, I take a look at the timber unfurling after a lengthy New Hampshire winter. Though I’ve realized to understand snow, I’m all the time grateful when it melts. And that is a story about spring. — Victoria Chen
Oh Dearling, My Nar-Dar, Est-Est-Est!
Our phrases of endearment have all the time developed. Once, after a film, “dear” and “darling” morphed into “dearling.” During lockdown in Prague, the evolution accelerated: “Darling” grew to become “Dar-Dar,” then “Dar,” adopted by “Nar-Dar” and “Nar,” and eventually “Nar-Nar.” Meanwhile, “Dearling” remodeled into “Dearlingest,” then “Est,” then “Est-est-est.” It is sensible: Working from dwelling for a 12 months and caught in a second lockdown because the Czech Republic battles one of the world’s highest Covid death rates, we’ve had far more time together than usual. I just wonder: In what other ways has humanity evolved faster than usual this year? — Melody Rose McClure
Blowing in the Wind
Recently we toasted with champagne in your newly purchased East London flat. Three years earlier, I watched your red nails scratch thin hospital sheets, brought you cans of Coca-Cola and coloring books after you tried to overdose. I have never been so relieved about a friend’s failure. On the first anniversary of your attempt, we traveled to Puglia, acquiring parking tickets at an alarming rate while enjoying gorgeous seaside towns. Friendships hold uncountable sorrows and joys, like toasting your new life or eating Ikea hot dogs in the store parking lot, our masks blowing like flags from our wrists. — Xan Pedisich