I have a number of deer-related things in my room. My favorite is a small, plastic buck figurine—the kind you would find in a kid’s play-set of zoo animals. To be honest I’m not even sure where my little friend came from. Maybe I took him home from the candy & toyshop I used to work at when I was in high school. Maybe my little cousin left him in my room one day. Maybe I just found him lying around in a classroom, thought he was cool, and shoved him in my backpack.

Truthfully, it doesn’t matter. All I know is that I’ve had him for a long time and I decided to take him to college with me when I left from my hometown three years ago. Since initially leaving, I’ve moved into three dorms, one apartment in NYC, one apartment in Madrid, and back home 3 times for the summers. Each time I leave I find space amongst my things for the little guy and make sure to place him somewhere in my bedroom once I settle in: on a bookshelf, a nightstand, a shelf, a dresser; wherever he looks comfy.

I grew up in Tarrytown in Westchester County, NY. It’s not far from here… maybe 30 miles…and could hardly be considered “the wilderness,” even by City standards. But while we don’t have a lot of free space, we do have the occasional wooded areas and a disproportionate amount of deer. My boyfriend, who’s from rural Pennsylvania, says that the deer near me are crazy and that they’re not meant to live in such close quarters with humans. I’m sure he’s right and I know many think of them as pests, but I like them.

My little buck figurine is sort of like my personal companion. He doesn’t remind me of anyone in particular, or even any specific place, but he carries that notion of home. I bet when people see my deer memorabilia they either assume I’m originally from “out in the country” or wish I were there now, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m many things, but outdoorsy isn’ t one of them.