- scrambled eggs with vegan patty, squash, green and red peppers, onions. we were promised free bagels for today two weeks ago, but the people fail to show up. maybe they too get stuck in the traffic jam caused by the wildfires, cream cheese melting in the back of their car.
- medium matcha (hot). many can’t make it to the school. we are saying something about apocalypse. L says it’s a boring apocalypse because there’s no power shortage or tornados nearby and gets attacked for a minute, even though he’s the one with the most trouble driving home. P says she was driving under a beautiful blue day but when she looked at the rearview mirror, smoke was gathering and everything was yellow and grey. J was on the phone with a friend and didn’t know there was a fire until she drove into the fire zone. she told her friend, looks like there’s a fire. her friend said, oh, do you need to leave? she said, i can’t right now. and she just drove on and drove through the wall of dust and smoke. i suddenly wish i had seen it. i guess we are all looking forward to something unusual, something that takes us straight out of our routine, which by now has been going on for fifteen weeks and turned boring. maybe not quite as dramatic as a tornado, though a temporary power shortage would have been nice. several years back when i was in philadelphia, also living on campus, it once happened that the power went out in the entire building, and we had to be evacuated. it was a winter night. we stumbled down the fire stairs in flocks. people were cursing, roaring, laughing. every curse was accompanied with a loud laughter. the dorm was on the corner of a street. before we crowding out, only one policeman was standing there, guarding the crosswalk. i decided to cross the street to buy an ice cream bar. paper bags and newspapers were rattling in the wind. no cars, no pedestrians, a single siren flashing red, blue, red, blue - it looked like a post apocalypse street scene, at the same time charged with festivity. we could go on like this for quite a while, but preferably not for the entire night. some time past midnight would have been an ideal time for the power to go back on, though the situation didn’t last that long. when we climbed up it felt more tiring, as it should be. somehow the light that comes right after a duration of time in darkness is nothing short of exhausting. P buys me coffee for looking after her dog. small coffee with sugar and 2% milk (hot).
- 1 plain bagel with cream cheese. 6 almond sea salt crackers. today i am calculating how much i’ve spent since september and i run the calculation five times. today is windy and sunny in the way that makes me feel as if i were back in beijing, but i quickly start to debate on whether i should be allowed to use the word back. today sees the fourth time i have been asked, where is home for you? and i need to do the calculation again and again so that i feel safe enough to come out to my father if he demands an answer. i suppose i won’t get beaten; i doubt he knows how to do that, since neither him nor my mother has ever hit me (considering how common a practice it is for parents to beat unruly children). in my case it won’t be this bad anyway. even if he wants to chase me out, i can always talk to my mother in secret. but if i get to choose, i’d rather wait till i can fully sustain myself. the word self-sustained always reminds me of farming.