e prompt: December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edward)

this is one of many. it is an important one of many.

in february, i extracted myself from a toxic living situation. i’d become mortal enemies with one of my roommates, who had been my friend for eight years. we continued to live together (and not at all peacefully or cordially) for three months after we ceased communication. well – after i ceased communication and called her on her plethora of bullshit in a very very loud voice using very very mean words. the whole thing – it was not pretty.

i moved eight times in college. i’ve become an expert at packing everything i own in one night or less. i pack in plastic crates that i keep on hand and use for storage, any luggage i can find, laundry bags. i had everything ready to go in short order – complicated only by the fact that i now had furniture. i emptied my room and drove all of my possession 10 miles away or so – within four or five hours.

i stood in the house that was now very close to empty. that looked remarkably as it had when we discovered it, three years prior. when i was convinced that every problem i’d ever had was now going to evaporate. now things would be perfect. now, my wars were over. i reflected on the massive differential between my vision and reality. i flashed through the dramatic events. i absorbed the fact that it had been three entire years of my life, spent here. it was empty – it was echoing. the cold of being outside in february in new york was contrasted with the overheating of every goddamned apartment in this city. it’s not comfortable – it builds a radiating heat from the inside, where you feel your blood pulsing. the sun streamed brightly through our giant living room window, and i thought to myself, it is over. it is over and there is so much ahead of you. now you are free.