Click here to learn more about this new series from Edge Studios, and follow @npquarterly and @offthehookshorts on social to see episodes of “Off the Hook” as they are released.
(Saphia sits out on her front stoop.)
Sign up for our free newsletters
Subscribe to NPQ's newsletters to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
SAPHIA: The thing about communalism is that it sneaks up on you. We are not meant to be solitary, much as we think we may already be. In my preoccupation with boundaries, which stemmed from my own susceptibility to the seductive individualism bell hooks talks about, I failed to notice all the ways community had sprung up around me, growing in the cracks. The guy who works at my favorite deli, who looks out for me and lends me things from his shop when I need them; the lady at the Polish grocer who always gives me an extra smile; the owner of the donut shop, who makes sure I don’t miss the seasonal flavors when they’re back in stock; the used bookseller, who spent what felt like hours helping me find the perfect novel. All of these people make me feel like I’m home here. All of these people make me feel safe. And though I sometimes think of myself as alone in New York City, away from family, away from what’s familiar, I know that when it comes down to it—and it has—people will show up for me. And I’ll show up for them.
(Fade to outro.)