I had arranged to meet up with Deborah, an acquaintance of mine back in Chicago, a clothes designer in her early twenties who moved cross-country to Boston where she knew no one. But she was intent on being independent.
Of Room in Brooklyn, Deborah decided, "She does look lonely. She has flowers to make herself feel not so alone. Either she bought them herself, which is lonely. Or someone bought them for her and is not there, and that's lonely. I get the feeling she's ill and house-ridden. Or maybe it's just that women in those days weren't allowed to go out. Her dress may be black and she's in mourning.
"I can imagine a lot of Bostonians alone in their rooms. Everyone in Boston is in their own little world. They never meet your eyes. Boston is a hodgepodge. Most of my roommates have come from elsewhere: Indiana, St. Louis, Florida. Many come for school and stay."