The day started with bedsheets pulled up over my head. Some sour thought nagged at the back of my mind, warning me not to get out of bed. But I did anyway, forcing myself into the day. Maybe a hot shower would wash the hollow feeling somewhere far, far from me. But the water was hot and that was all. My mood did not change, did not drip from my body as I stood in the tub cold and wet.

I tried curling up on the bed again, but I couldn’t stay there. I left home like a child. Angry, upset, scared. I did not lock the door behind me.

I have nowhere to go in this city when I’m not at home. My closest friends and family are a flight away. At times it feels like there’s no one I can talk to here. You can’t hold a telephone in your arms, and these times when I need to talk, when I feel weak, I don’t really want to talk. I want to be comforted. There was nothing comforting by the ocean. The rocks had a slippery frost on them, but I sat anyway, watching the ocean.

I’ve thought about moving home before today, not because I want to but because I worry. A few months after I moved to this city, I was in an awful state. One night I watched the water carefully, wondering how cold it was, how far down it was, if it would make me feel differently. Maybe better. Maybe worse. Today I just watched the waves wash towards me in pulses, like breaths.

A golden retriever came down the steps, followed by three girls. They threw a ball into the water and urged Oscar to go get it. It was cold and he didn’t want to, but he did. He wanted his ball back. The girls talked like I wasn’t there, which was fine because maybe I wasn’t. One said that the world might end at midnight, and that would be a good excuse to lose her virginity. Another wished she’d stayed, it wasn’t too late to go back, she still had his bracelet. Oscar returned with the ball. He seemed happy.

I walked as slowly as I could, letting the sun melt the frost from me. It wouldn’t be so bad not to have a home, I thought, there’d be nowhere to run from. Then there was a red sleeping bag sprawled out under a big pine tree, with someone underneath it, breathing. His home was everywhere, and at the same time, nowhere.

Some time later, a man wished me a happy new year. What did he mean by that, I wondered. And what did my silence mean to him?

At the library, my scarf pulled up like a bedsheet, sitting at a workstation, this isn’t what I expected from the day. I worry. I’m used to it, and it’s no good reason, and it’s no excuse, but that’s how it is.

This is the last day of the year. Hello tomorrow.