Everything Bagels

I’ve always liked everything bagels. When I was about to move away for college I got my roommate assignment, I would be sharing a room with a girl named Phoebe. I was ecstatic because together we would make a rare friends reference, and how could someone named Phoebe not be cool.  About a week before moving in, I was notified of a change – my new roommate would actually be someone named Julia. Like the time freshmen year of high school where I got pulled out of Mr. Koch’s class to start Mrs. Doner’s first English class – I was upset until I realized Mrs. Doner would be the best teacher I would ever have. Turned out Phoebe was still our roommate, but she had her own room – across from Candace (who she later nicknamed Candy-ass). I had an everything bagel for breakfast this morning and I couldn’t stop thinking about my life at this time and our apartment.

Phoebe used to make tuna sandwiches on an everything bagel every single day, like clockwork. She would come home from basketball practice, and straight into the kitchen. She would pour an excessive amount of siracha into her tuna, cut up celery and onions, and put it all in between a sliced everything bagel. Julia’s grocery list always included everything bagels as well. She ate hers with cream cheese. Julia was the only one of us with a car, so grocery shopping with her was a privilege. There’s a picture of the 4 of us in our kitchen, where all these everything bagels were made and consumed. I remember you could see the fridge behind us, and we had posters of gay men from the castro district.  This fridge also held jello shots regularly made in tiny jager cups I got from when I was a jager girl. Phoebe used to do sit ups in our living room, which overlooked a quad. She would blurt out things all day like “scotch!” and dance around, sometimes I would join.

After graduation someone told me they heard she moved to Peru and was living with natives. No one ever heard from Candace again. Everyone that briefly met her, thought she was the responsible one from our group. Only we knew, about the time I came home to paramedics at our door because she had passed out and thrown up in the hall. Julia and I moved a couple of times. We have pictures of us graduating together, and as I walked down from stage after getting my diploma – I tripped, but hoped no one saw. I looked at my phone when I sat down and she told me my fall was on the big screen. We had an amazing summer in Pismo, Orange County, and  Lake Tahoe. 4 Years later I was the maid of honor at her wedding. Then we barely spoke for almost 3 years. We hung out a couple of months ago in LA, and we talked about how different life was.


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