I was standing on an almost alleyway of a street in NYC’s Chinatown, waiting for a table at a dim sum restaurant. The streets were littered with confetti and glitter. Beating drums echoed in the narrow passageways, between the buildings. It was Chinese New Year.
I had dodged multiple dragons blessing local businesses, pink and red and yellow, dancing in the doorways, drawing crowds of tourists smiling behind their cameras and New Yorkers behind their iPhones. It was a Saturday in mid-February. My phone vibrated.
“Hi, I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch.” It was a text from my good friend back in Chicago, Heather*, who I’ve known since sophomore year of high school. “The funeral’s at [this church] at 10 a.m. on Monday. I know you’re in New York, so if you can’t come, I completely understand.”