POV: You wake up one morning and forget that Columbia Housing gave you the boot months ago.

It’s a bright and sunny day in Morningside Heights. It’s surprisingly quiet— eerily so. Where are the honking taxis and the ambulance sirens outside of St. Luke’s? Oh well, you welcome the peace. You prepare to make the big leap off of your inconveniently high dorm bed, but it seems a little closer to the ground than you remember. It must’ve been your sneaky roommate, pranking you by sawing off the legs of your bed while you were drunk last night. Where is your roommate this morning, after all?

You text a few of your friends to see if you can all get breakfast at Ferris together. They respond with only a scathing “lol” and you wonder what shenanigans you actually got up to last night. Were you that drunk? You brush it off; you probably said some shitty things but you’ll meet them on the lawns later to talk it out. You change out of your pajamas and blush when you realize that your blinds are open, and the people on Broadway could easily peek in. It’s okay though because it looks like they planted a bunch of trees outside of your window last night while you slept. It looks like a whole forest, actually. New York City has been taking this whole “green space” thing really seriously lately.

Time to wash up, and you pray that there’s no vomit in the bathroom sinks from last night. Quadruple check that you have your ID before you leave your room; it’s a long walk to Hartley. Where’s your shower caddy? You must’ve left it in one of the stalls yesterday. It’s a shorter trip than usual from your room to the bathroom, but you figure that you do have a certain pep in your step this morning, and perspective is everything.

The bathroom is a mess. The people that you share it with are disgusting. The weird thing is that it looks like it’s only your hair in the sink, but everyone’s a brunette these days, you suppose, rolling your eyes. When you’ve finished your business, you speed-walk back to your room because you don’t want to talk to anyone on your floor. You gag a little when you pass by a guy and he calls you honey, and you realize he looks disturbingly similar to your father.

Your friends still haven’t given you an answer about breakfast, so you go to the dining hall alone. You hand a woman your ID, but she says you don’t need to swipe in to get food because everything has already been paid for. The Ferris employees have always been so friendly with strong maternal vibes, but this is a step above any kindness you’ve experienced in the dining halls prior. You ravenously grab as much food as you can carry to sneak back to the stockpile in your room, skeptical that you’ll have enough food for those peckish afternoon hours.

You’ve been stalling all morning, and it’s finally time to get some work done. One last procrastination tactic— you should check your mail. You bundle up and carve out about half an hour to make the trek to the mail center. You’re disappointed when it doesn’t take you half that long, and since when does the mail center let you just come in and grab your own packages? Okay, now it’s really time to work, so you head to Butler and cross your fingers that you’ll find a good spot to study. It’s between meal times, so the tables should be full, but you’re shocked that it’s actually the opposite. There’s only one table, and there are placemats at each spot, which must be a new way for Columbia to preserve their old furniture. You throw your books down in front of a chair and side-eye a man who’s lingering around the table. This is your spot, fair-and-square. You cringe when you realize it’s the same guy that you saw in the hallway this morning. That’s an uncomfortable coincidence.

When you’re back in your room, you stick your whole head out the window to smoke. You don’t want to get caught by the RA, who, you realize, is that guy you’ve been seeing around campus all day, the one who looks too much like your father. Time must be moving at a strange pace now that you’re high because the dorm room light isn’t switching off every three hours. You preemptively flick the switch on and off anyway.

That night, you put on your flip flops and head to the showers. You’re lucky because no one else is showering next to you tonight. It’s strange because it’s prime shower hour, but you don’t want to jinx it. When you’re back in your room, you tiptoe and breathe softly because it’s late and you don’t want to wake up your roommate. Lying in bed, you don’t hear your roommate’s snoring, but you kind of wish you did. It’s too quiet in your room tonight, and it makes you feel so lonely that you start to wonder if anyone is even there at all.

what McBain looks like in my heart via my shitty Paint skills