I spent most of May searching Craigslist for roommates who were not "self-expressed," "cat lovers!!" or "kool chicks like u." I wanted to spend $700 or "just a little more," I told one broker, and by the end of the month I had a $900 studio on the Lower East Side. The floor was unfinished, with lumpy eruptions around the edges, but there was room for my bed and at least a small desk. I subletted the room from "Rita"—a German woman with a spectacularly lopsided face. She worked in fashion and was "totally sick of New York," and when I asked her age, she said, "I'm older than you." She stopped returning my calls a week before I was supposed to move in, but I showed up anyway with multiple boxes. I imagined that she'd lost her cell phone or died, but I thought about each scenario in a vague, underwater kind of way. The better parts of my brain were consumed with figuring out how and when to transport my furniture, and then regretting whatever... More >>>