Written by Amina Cain
When I first moved here, I lived in a friend’s room in a loft. I had never lived in a loft before, and it was strange to do so in such a quiet place. Downtown was unlike any downtown I had ever been in: its emptiness surprised me, but it was empty only of certain kinds of people. They were around, but they lived on the sidewalk and in tents. And stores and businesses existed, but not the kind tourists want to shop at. The month—August—was hot, the way I like weather to be, and in the evenings when it cooled down I rode my bike through the neighborhoods next to mine, and sometimes to a cornfield that someone had planted nearby. I would get off my bike and look at the plants, at the cobs of corn hidden in their pale green husks. I liked that the field was there, with the city’s buildings so close to it. I liked that I was there. Across the street from where I lived was a school of architecture, and the huge, dusty lot in front of the long building comforted me like the cornfield did. The building had once been a train station, and the friend whose room I was subletting had gone to this school.
© 2013 Amina Cain; St. Louis: Dorothy, a publishing project