Hashtag throwback Thursday. It is back to school so I want to throw it back twenty-two years ago. 1994. The end of college. I was twenty-two. Everyone who I had been close to had departed for points unknown or home after commencement. they had gone to Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Boston. they had gone to New Jersey, Albany, and Waterbury. They had gone to California and Portland. I stayed in the Bronx working as an abstractor which meant that I prepared a condensed history of the ownership of a particular parcel of real estate. I researched this history which consisted of a summary of the original grant and all of the subsequent conveyances and encumbrances affecting the property on microfiche. Glamorous. I know. In some instances, I had to go back to the original hand-written books to find deeds that had not been microfiched. These were great big dusty books which were lorded over by an ancient woman who wore flowery housedresses and who did not like me immediately, she was distrusting of anyone who might not understand the magnanimity of these books. The histories of pieces of old New York written in hands long since gone. But I did. I opened them gently and ran my hands along their pages. I spent many hours admiring the penmanship they contained. She must have seen this and eventually smiled a toothless smile at me. We became co-conspirators. There was something important about this work to me, this idea of going back to find where we come from. It appealed to the amateur librarian in me. In any case, in those weeks following commencement I had never heard the city so quiet as when I sat in my tiny Bronx apartment with its view of backyard laundry reading Look Homeward, Angel, which only added to my post graduation blues. A crushing sense of loss surrounded me. It wasn't just college that was gone, an enduring moment of my youth, the east side of Buffalo, New York, was slipping away from me and I didn't know it then. Just weeks before I was on a rooftop clinking aluminum beer cans with my best friends. Then Kurt Cobain was dead. Just weeks before I was at a dance with a girl who could have been a movie star. We would etch our names in wet concrete in the east village in the hopes that moment would last. Then Brazil mourned the loss of Ayrton Senna. In one moment I was studying beneath perfect trees as a friend in leather boots and a skirt came yelling my name across the lawn and the next I was alone in the city, my future expansively terrifying ahead of me. Here is a photograph of me on the D train with what would become my confidant and companion in those moments post graduation. You can see the worry in my eyes, but so too the hope. I have my goldfish who I would wish good morning every day before leaving to the microfiche and books, to the going back to the past and seeing the beauty in beginnings. This is a photograph of me in that end which looking back was always a beginning.