In 2006, Bertha and I moved into a room in Ashdown House, one of the graduate houses in MIT, Cambridge. The room was old and simple but spacious, with wooden planks as floor and windows overlooking the Charles river and the bridge connecting Boston and Cambridge. We arranged our belongings in identical desks and shelves, and made our identical single beds. It was fall, and the leaves outside our windows were varying shades of brown, yellow, and red. The world was full of possibilities.
Nightly, as we lay in our adjacent beds, we’d talk about our family and friends, our beliefs, our dreams. We didn’t agree on everything, but we respected our differences. We told each other we would turn out alright.
Years later, I found myself visiting her in Hong Kong, where she’d been living and working for more than two years. She rented an apartment on her own, and it was, like all grown-up apartments, filled with furnitures, electronics, photographs, books, kitchenware. We talked into the early morning about our jobs, meeting expectations, decisions we made and their consequences, our dreams for the future.
Things are different but in most ways they feel the same.
Photos by Arnold Hozana