There is a bar in Berlin, hidden in one of my favorite neighborhoods, that I would have overlooked if someone had not pointed it out to me. The lighting was dim, not because the owners were trying to set a mood, but because the bar had no lights.
It was a typical Oxford Monday morning. I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop sipping my Americano, when a man with a giant cowboy hat walked in. He was dressed in a dashing suit jacket paired up with bootcut jeans, pointy leather boots and round sunglasses.
The day after Thanksgiving my senior year of high school, I boarded a 15-hour flight from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia. On my shoulder I carried a pink Adidas sports bag with eight carefully folded leotards, four pairs of satin pointe shoes, and a metal container full of bobby pins.
As I walked to my art history class, a poster hanging in the Diag read, “What will you do when machines do everything?” Carrying in my mind all of the impressionist paintings I had to memorize for this exam, I thought surely the visual arts could never be done by a computer.
The ringing of my alarm wakes me up. The warmth of my sheets and the ache in my limbs and back keep me bound to the bed, lethargic on a day when honking cars and whirring buses outside my window call for me to get up.
“I wrote so I could say I was truly paying attention,” writer and poet Sarah Manguso explained. These verbs should be past tense, but since they’re all present tense, I’ll let you decide if you want to change them all.