In lockdown, I felt like I was better able to see some things for how they were, but I was not always happy with the realities I had to confront.
This doubt reached a breaking point when I came to Harvard. Freshman fall, I fell flat on a scale during an audition and didn’t make the cut. I suddenly realized my peers were international and national competition winners. I stopped playing. My world fell silent, my violin case slipped under the bed, and my sheet music lay untouched.
The irrational fear that I am becoming less of a woman began long before my period stopped. I was already indifferent to sophomoric forms of girl-power-girl-boss rhetoric; where I had once nursed feminist excitement, I was numb.
Exhales, but not his own, even and mechanical, as if from inside a spacesuit as he hurdled alone through the vast expanse of black. Sedated. Intubated. Alone. Only the beeping intervals of his heart monitor for company.
We played as the sun set and the sky split into pink and yellow, the room awash in gold. We played as the lamps turned on and the rooms around us quieted down to rest. When I went to bed that night, still giddy, I saw the graphics imprinted behind my eyelids, just as vibrant and animated as they’d been on screen.