Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I still do not know the name of this city. It is foreign and unfamiliar, despite my living here for three weeks now. My host dad Steve leaves every morning at exactly 7:48 am and returns at 6:17 in order to make his 9-5 job in a "timely fashion." My host family is so set in their routines it is ridiculous, and unlike the unpredictableness of bustling London. At school cliques are preexistent and seemingly very hard to infiltrate, which leaves me utterly alone. In order to pass my time I've taken to walking through Howell park, which is surprisingly picturesque. Large sprawling oaks line cleared pathways leading to a rusty playground, which is perfect for swinging and contemplating life.

I am swinging and wondering how Steve's combover remains perfectly positioned on his head throughout the duration of the day, and conclude that it must be gelled to his scalp when I hear a pop! I jump a little bit in my swing, and turn to see each light go out one by one, like a row of dominoes. An eerie feeling washes over me. Afterall, the park is directly located next to the cemetery, which is filled with looming tombstones casting shadows on the grass. Grabbing my backpack I get the heck out of there.

By the time I am home dinner is on the table. Even though it is the same meal of meatloaf and mashed potatoes served every Tuesday, I am surprisingly relieved by the regularity of its presence. The power outage is a weird change in a very permanent city which scares me somehow. I shake it off and sit down to eat, which is when I notice the emptiness of Steve's seat across from me.
It is 6:32.