Read our second print issue of the fall 2021 semester, including a story on students struggling with Stony Brook’s financial aid, reviews of music from Måneskin, dreamcastmoe and Lorde, commentary on the gentrification of thrift shopping and the Met Gala, and our newest Songs of the Summer compilation.

Letter from the editor

by Josh Joseph

I’ve been thinking a lot about loss lately. My cat Oliver passed away this month, just a few days after his tenth birthday, so quickly and unceremoniously that I couldn’t process what was going to happen until the night before it did.

Last week, I went home for the weekend, pet him and could feel his vertebrae as I did. Days later, the vet found a large mass on his intestine. They didn’t know whether it had spread, or if it was even operable — and they wouldn’t know until they attempted surgery.

I tried to reassure myself, !xing in my head a future in which this was just a scary blip in the many years we had left together. But then he got worse — barely eating and secluding himself. The last time I saw him, he was nestled defensively under my parents’ bed, refusing to budge. I stared at old pictures and felt the rush of a decade of memories cut o in an instant, in a single text from my sister just a day before he was scheduled for surgery.

I haven’t been back home yet but I suspect there will be a void where he once was, curled up asleep on chairs or in boxes. Just the knowledge that he won’t be there, that I won’t have another chance to see him, pushes me into a place where I could ugly-cry for a long time. I think I’ve fallen back into denial for the time being, but I know there’s a long slog of grief ahead. Memory feels like such a #imsy thing sometimes.

Here at the magazine, I’m just coming to the realization that this is really it — that there’s less time ahead of me here than there is behind me now, and in less than a year I’ll be somewhere else. I think I’ve been waxing poetic on that cold fact for as long as I’ve been writing these letters, but it’s always there when I’m thinking about the future. I can’t help it.

With each passing semester, more and more people vanish into the ether, and I will be one of those people too. Sometimes, that feeling makes me want to do every possible thing I can at once, at hyperspeed, before it’s too late. Other times I feel paralyzed, unable to do much more than wake up, run my paces and go back to sleep on a hollow day. Reality lies somewhere between these two extremes. I’m learning to cope with the randomness of inspiration and the length of dull moments.

All that said, I don’t mean to be a downer or anything. There’s so much light and purpose I’ve found in doing this, something I can only hope to recapture after I leave school. I love The Press, and this magazine is not quite my last. There’s still a lot left to do.

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