At the shawarma place in Brooklyn Heights, the guy behind the counter asks me if I work or if I’m in school. I lie and tell him I study writing. It’s not really a lie. He says, “Yes, I thought so. When you came in, I said, what kind of job does she have? I thought it was either a writer or a teacher.” He asks if I’ve thought about teaching and I say I have. The shawarma is huge and delicious and cheap.

My hair looks crazy and I’m wearing really unflattering, monochromatic clothing. I feel like I’ve been wandering around in the dark for three days, because it seems dark everywhere, all the time. Thanksgiving and Christmas always feel this way to me, relentlessly, inescapably sad. (It’s probably all the capitalism.) Every year this happens, and I wait for it to lift, for things to come back to normal.  It helps to be in the coffee shop with people who I imagine feel similarly.


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