The past few days have been an emotional rollercoaster ride due to a few administrative barriers mostly beyond my control. I owe people for the help and support that I’ve received as I deal with this. However, the most appropriate way to end this hellacious weekend has been sitting in a near-deserted IHOP, eating breakfast for dinner for one, in the middle of an ice storm with only the bluest Chopin and Gershwin playing in the dining area. I’m not the world’s most positive person, but I just have to say that a dark sense of humor and appreciation for metaphor leaves me strangely appreciative of this episode.

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The walls in my building are paper-thin, but I thrive on the misplaced sense of human intimacy it provides. I enjoy the disembodied din of human activity — the chime of elevators, the clinking glasses, the sputtering and halting sound of hands cutting through water and the disarming, jovial and sometimes melancholic release of distant, pealing laughter.