I arrived at the University of Michigan in February as a visiting Ph.D. researcher from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. When I departed for Ann Arbor, the spread of the novel coronavirus was not so critical as it is today.
My feet were up on the dashboard of the passenger seat in my roommate Kevin’s 2015 Subaru Forester. The sun was beginning to set as we drove back from Atlanta. We were listening to a crime podcast, an iced coffee by my side.
As I sat on a boulder in the middle of the Saluda River in North Carolina, I raised a can of Twisted Tea to my lips. I had never tried one before, and the taste was sweet and lemony — easily mistakable for a non-alcoholic beverage.
When I was a child, my family used to go on nighttime walks during the summer. I remember strolling along the tree-lined sidewalks of New York City, purposefully going down the least well-lit pathways so I could spot fireflies.
I was in fifth-grade music class when I discovered my first pimple. It didn’t hurt, there was just a small raised bump on my cheek. I turned to one of my friends and asked if there was something on my face.