Where I Come From

by Erin Pineda

That's when I decided that it wasn't going to work out - or that it shouldn't. We were standing on that little triangular island in Times Square with the silver mini police outpost thing - you know the one? Our necks craned up so we could see the top of the buildings, but honestly I kept getting distracted by the giant neon shellfish spinning in front of Red Lobster. The crowds and the people and the noise and the now of it all were starting to make me feel queasy and defeated. Robert looked at me, squeezed my shoulder - I hate it when he does that - and whispered through his grin: "You'd have to be either crazy or dead not to feel alive standing right here." After all this time, I thought, you still don't know where I come from.

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Erin Pineda is a desert nomad who is learning to sit still, and a country bumpkin in a big city. On good days she musters up the nerve to like it here. On off days, she writes about it.