When I was 18, I had to defer going to Michigan Tech for a year because my mom was (mis)diagnosed with cancer and given 3 months to live. By this point, I had taken a watercolor class at the community college, so I would take my paints and sit by the pond sometimes and paint. I always got harassed, though. A girl isn’t allowed to wander by her lonesome in the West. Everyone is always expecting her to want company.