There was a knock at the door and I didn’t answer. The same knock, over so many years. The same man on the far side of the door, looking for redemption we both know won’t hold. When his footsteps faded, I packed a bag and boarded a bus. Disappearing was easier than I thought it would be.
I arrived in the dark, awakened by the long sigh of the bus as it followed the curved ramp up into the dark cement stable and eased into a narrow berth. I found a room full of sun, on a block with leafy sidewalks, truncated at either end by a well-kept housing project. Nearby is an old, fouled canal. There are bodegas and men loitering on the corners, teenagers taunting each other. Sometimes what you want is to be somewhere you do not belong.
Every day, I pass through the skin of the neighborhood out into the wider world. I am on a journey. I’m a white girl with scarlet hair. I live among strangers. Nobody knows my name.
I’m going outside now. Come with me.