“That will be $20,” he said as he reached out his hand.
$20 to just drive on the road? I reluctantly opened my wallet. All I had a $5, a $10 and some singles. Just enough.
There was snow on the ground and I desperately needed food and sleep. I drove into the parking lot which was actually an alley underneath an overpass. I walked up the two flights of stairs and entered my tiny apartment. I went into the empty living room and sat down and cried.
It was one of those moments where everything, all of the time, effort, and decisions lead to one specific point. And then there is quiet and space for you to catch up. It’s overwhelming.
I had packed my car with everything I could fit, which was not much. But I had everything I needed. Some clothes, my art stuff, my computer and a blanket. I had just left everyone I knew for an internship in a big city.
I spent the next few weeks floating, unseen through the city. I got lost more than I thought was even possible which led to frantic calls to my Mom. Not that she could really help when she was four states away. I spent every minute trying to survive.
Then one evening I was sitting in that same living room watching TV feeling very alone and about to give up when a little mouse scurried underneath the TV. I sat up. What should I do? I was unprepared for this unexpected visitor. I didn’t move, I just sat there and watched.
The mouse ran back and forth a couple of times and then stopped and looked right at me. He didn’t move either. We just both sat there, staring at each other.
Usually, I think, most people would hate a mouse in their home but weird things happen when you are lonely. And so, I named the mouse, Micetro. Like maestro… get it? Micetro became my only friend in the big city and every night we would watch TV together in our desolate living room.
On the night my internship ended Micetro and I celebrated with snacks and laughed so hard at Southpark we had to keep rewinding it. That is when I realized the big city was not for me. I quickly packed up my stuff, grabbed $20 for the ridiculous toll, and returned to my friends and sanity.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.