“In New York, they saved.
They saved on orange juice,sliced bread,
they saved on coffee.
On movies, museum admission (Friday nights)
Train fare, subway fare,
It was a principle of sorts and they stuck with it. Mark and Sasha lived that year on the 7 train and when they got out,
out in Queens,
Mark would follow Sasha like a little boy as she checked the prices at the two Korean grocers, and cross-checked them, so they could save on fruits and vegetables and little Korean treats.
They saved on clothes.
It was 1998 and they were in love. They were done with college, with the Moscow of Sasha’s childhood, with the American suburbs of Mark’s.
To be poor in New York was humiliating, a little,
but to be young was divine.
If you’d had more money than they had that year, you’d simply have grown old and faster,
~ Keith Gessen, All the Sad Young Literary Men [Prologue]