Chapter 15

When Patricia left, something was taken from my body and I didn't know.

I still wake up thirty minutes before class, fill my empty stomach with frozen sliders from cvs, my eyelids get heavy in the study room at the Rockefeller. Sometimes I go to the bathroom just to sit on the toilet lid, scroll my phone without looking at anything, turn it off, then go back to work.

 

Only part of me is glad that she’s gone. I find myself having a hard time to fall asleep at night, and when I do, I see things. Like me sitting from the edge of bed in a tiny studio in new york, eating a bowl of Banza pasta at a round table. There’s Patricia, peeling an orange, with her macbook and Adobe Suite running, passing a piece of fruit in my mouth.

 

Then I open my eyes, it’s just dark. I don’t know what time it is. I’m staring at the ceiling.

 

Dreams like this happen now and then. When my body is too tired to keep my eyelids open, but brain still running. That’s when I can remember things, and I see Patricia. I wonder if I wish it was real, that one day we’d end up in the same city, doing stuff on our own, at the same table. Her editing a film, me writing an essay, just minding our own business, knowing we don’t have to say a thing.

When I wake up, I’d reach out to my phone for time, knowing that I can’t afford another bad night of sleep. There’re things to do tomorrow. More museums to cold email to, more underpaid jobs to apply to, more rejection letters to delete, more calls from dad to come home.

 

I need more time for me, of me, just me. I’d throw my face into the pillow, or read more thesis to wipe myself out. Once I fall asleep, I won’t remember anything. And that’d be the only time I’m free from Patricia. As if she never exists, and I was just having a long dream.