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I woke up startled, in total darkness, not quite recollecting where I was. My reorientation was interrupted by more furious knocking. Tripping over my backpack and my cousin Diana’s shoes, I finally made it to the door.

The bright light from the living room shocked my still-sleepy eyes, and I rubbed them as my hostess in the casa particular (think Cuban AirBnB) began to furiously explain that the police were here and they needed my help. Drowsy enough that I could not quite form the question, “Why the hell do they need me?” …

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I stood by my kitchen sink, wet hands perched on the cool marble, and there I watched as water dripped from the tap with a methodical rhythm. Entranced, I watched each droplet appear, grow fatter, and release, only to begin the cycle again. We thought it was the water. I chuckled to myself at how naïve the thought seemed now.

I put on my rain boots as I prepared to walk through the tall, dewy grass as I did every morning. An arbitrary ritual I had developed in a world which no longer rewarded ritual. The sky hung heavy with the threat of afternoon rain as I walked out to the bench that overlooked the surrounding hillside. It sat under a large oak tree that loomed large and weighty. You don’t seem to mind being alone. …

Elisa Glubok Gonzalez

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