July 2006, Heidelberg, Germany
I wake up alone in the apartment. My German flatmate is gone. She doesn’t know today is my birthday.
We get along, but she rarely lingers to chat over coffee or engage in a heart-to-heart while doing dishes. Every night I hear her, alone in her room, watching the Simpsons. Later that evening as the castle stones change color with the sun, I confess my amusement at her television choice, telling my friends that if my flatmate wants to see a dysfunctional American, she should just come out into the kitchen.