POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.
Months ago, a friend from college called me on the phone, her voice choked with tears. Her relationship had ended, she said. The shock of sudden solitude had hit her.
“All these years,” she told me, “I thought I was so lucky.” And then she listed the reasons why: to have met someone; to have been settled; to have known at such a young age what she wanted, where she was going.
I listened. I said the only words I could think to say: “I know.”
“I’ve never felt so bad in my life,” she continued. “Everything hurts.”
I lay in bed, the phone sandwiched between my face and the mattress. It’d leave a mark later, warm and red and wrinkled. “I know,” I said.
Not long before, I’d sat with Lily at a party, a bottle of Jameson on the table between us. We didn’t know each other well, but we’d spent enough time together to establish that we were both broke, both single, both confused. We were also both very sad, in ways that felt unfamiliar and hard to explain.