BY NINA PIAZZA
I can almost see it on the backs of my eyelids.
An apartment all my own, with a bathroom that is mine and a kitchen that is mine. They have all my things, and they are clean. If they are messy, it is my own mess. I dress, and I am comfortable in all my clothes, and when I wear lipstick, I do not wipe it off in indecision.
I take the train to my job, a satchel sitting in my lap, and look up at ads that are not in English. Perhaps they are in Japanese, or Korean, or Chinese, and I read them idly for practice.
I come to work, and I have the lesson plans for the week printed out. The essays from last week are graded and ready to be handed back. I have carefully marked the most critical mistakes, and made notes in the margins until early in the morning over the weekend.
My students are already in the classroom when I come in, and I start class with a smile and a few jokes. They couldn’t understand them at the beginning of the year, but it is near graduation, and now my class chuckles along with me. They are sweet kids.
I speak so much, I cannot remember what my voice sounded like without a rasp. I get off work at 7 pm and I wake up at 5 am, but I am happy.
Nina is a Linguistics Major and a TESOL Minor, and she’ll be graduating this Spring, a year early. She enjoys writing prose creative fiction the most, but following her participation in the TYSW Anthology class, she developed a new appreciation of creative nonfiction.