It was cold by Phoenix standard and I was feeling it on my face and ears. The wind made it worse. I kept rubbing my hands. My fingers were numb even with gloves on. Sometimes I pushed them inside the pockets of my overcoat.
“Hello young man. What can I do for you?” Again a middle-aged man answered the door at the second house. He looked friendly but I wondered how he will react.
After I told him why I was there he asked where I was from.
“I would have no problem renting a room to you, young man. But can you get a guarantee from someone. I’m not saying you wouldn’t be able to pay the rent, but I can’t take chances.”
“I have an assistantship. I’ll get a stipend.”
“Fine! But I need to see the letter or something in writing.”
“I don’t have it with me right now.”
“Well then, come back when you have it, Okay.”
At least he didn’t slam the door on me. I wouldn’t blame him for having doubts about an out of Towner.
No one answered at the next two addresses. All the walking had resulted in nothing. I wished I had called these places before coming, but thought it better to talk to people person. It had started to snow a bit, just a few flurries. It was a thrilling experience for me. I spread my arms wide and looked up at the sky. The flakes on my face were refreshing. I knew I had walked quite a bit away from the campus. It was past noon and I was getting hungry. My toes were getting numb as well as my fingers.
Is this what growing up is supposed to be? Independence? Oh, yeah. I wanted to prove myself. To be accepted like an adult. That’s what I had told my mom. I wasn’t a kid anymore.
There was not a restaurant of café in sight. I had to get inside, somewhere, or else I would freeze and wouldn’t be able to walk. But where? I didn’t know the town.
I kept walking. I felt something in my pant pocket. I reached inside with my gloved hands. I had forgotten that I had kept some life savers and Kit Kats with me. It was small consolation, but I still needed to eat something. I realized I was on a main street from the traffic, more cars, commercial vehicles and vans. I saw a bus turn into a small building. Then I remembered that this was the bus station I had got off at two days ago. I knew they had a small lunch counter.