I end up falling for the guy after all. It just works out that way. I am renting a small, dingy studio, with red shag carpet and an old mattress. Because I am paranoid, I imagine all the people who have occupied the mattress before me. What did they do on this mattress? What did they look like? I feel like I should have double sheets to protect myself from past occurrences.
I have ants. Huge carpenter ants that march along the top of the sofa and crawl on the walls. I smash them with my shoes — I am a cold-blooded killer of ants — but they keep coming. I complain to the landlord, who tells me I was not yet in the apartment when they fumigated the rest of the building. It becomes clear that all of the ants have migrated to my place. I pursue the issue. The landlord agrees to fumigate. Soon, the ants are dead.
I can walk to work, another exciting place where everyone in the department actually wants to be there. They are hamstrung by corporate processes, but they do their best with limited resources. I see their desire to be great, and I feel that desire reflected in myself. I find my first mentor, who teaches me about the field. I sense we share a fondness for cutting through red tape and getting things done.
I am addicted to an online game. I go home every day and play, forget about the outside world and lose myself in a scroll of green text on black. I dream about this game — see it in color in my mind — and when it goes down, I think about it constantly. I completely fail to put it in perspective.
It is hard to leave when the summer is over. But I do, as I have done everywhere else. I go back to school, back to classes and papers and reading assignments, back for one more year.