i’m eating rice at my kitchen counter while the ceiling fan whips a too-cold breeze around the room. every seven minutes, the horrible creak of a construction crane splits the silence, nearly hitting our window every time it tries to reach the roof. the clock on the stove is blinking blinking blinking and i haven’t cleaned the French press yet. let’s start that differently: i’m sitting at my kitchen counter mesmerized by a 21 year old TikTok star trying on a bikini haul. her fingernails are dirty and somehow it makes me feel that she’s sad. despite her big pink bedroom and baking soda-white teeth. is she old enough to know what it’s like to sit on the floor of her shower, trying to tell her fortune in the tiles? has she ever sat there long enough for the hot water to run out? let’s start again: on Wednesday, there was a shooting on my block. the sun was still pulsing loud like a heartbeat when a woman peeled a shiny silver pistol out of the crux of her jacket and shot her ex-lover dead. barrel to the head while she was opening the door to our bodega. one last look at the neon ATM sign flickering in surprise and a row of kombuchas bubbling blood red. now there are candles where her head hit and a pile of crumpled flowers where her phone screen broke. i didn’t even hear the shot go off because i was sitting on the floor of my shower, the hot water just beginning to go cold.