Saturday, December 26, 2009


It's a full moon tonight. It's the one/two nights of the year that I allow myself to be crazy. It's great.

I am more that happy with the latest addition to my collection of mint-green 9x9 ft bedrooms to live in. I never see my roommates and our relationships are strictly monetary.
Harlem will always be home. Every morning someone compliments the boots that most of my friends refuse to be seen with me in. The Palestinian deli guy gives me free sandwiches if i come in past 2am when all the lights are off, the M7 gets me to the pastry shop in 5 minutes and I have mastered the art of gypsy cab bargaining. (shout out to Tangier)

A recent facebook comment from someone I remember as the girl who vomited in her hair once reminded me of a childhood ritual and prelude to blogging. Every night my father would have us write "The Page," which was essentially a sheet of loose leaf paper filled to the margins with anything we could think of, to prove that we were learning. I remember devoting about 4 x 4 inches to lists of ridiculous vocabulary words (I used to read the dictionary during recess), listing words that rhymed with each other, and learning what an essay was when my older brother out-did me and wrote one first. Mine was about cows, and how much I like them. But my favorite thing to write about was what I saw out my parents' bedroom window every night, because it had the best view of the moon. Every night I would continue the saga of the moon-people (which curiously resembled typical Bollywood movie plots) and try to imagine what they were doing. At an early age we were taught in Sunday School that all those cute little planetary balls floating around in space have creatures on them, so it seemed only natural that they had lives and dramas of their own.

Every night my father would file our Pages in the rest of the piles of files and paperwork that he brought home with him every night, and he would look over them before we went to sleep, which was usually much earlier than when he went to sleep. In exchange for the Page, we got Hershey bars. It seemed like a fair trade. My father kept a stack of them in his closet just below a giant green bowl where he emptied out his change every night and my brother and I would go through it every couple of weeks and roll about $10 worth of nickels and quarters. The only time we ever stole from the Hershey bar stack was when he asked us to go into the closet and look through his suit pockets to try and find his checkbook because he couldn't remember where he put it or which suit he wore that day. The only other thing that earned us this chocolatey delight was when we invited our friends over to help clean the basement. Dad made them write a Page too. Then they got two Hershey bars.

Twenty years later, I don't get Hershey bars for being a good learner, but I do get funded, which I guess is a better deal, although not as delicious. Meanwhile, I hardly ever get to talk to my father now that he has started moonlighting at the hospital when he should be retiring, to pay for all of those years that no one thought I deserved to be funded.

It's a full moon.
I love you Dad.

Sunday, December 20, 2009



١. Climate // CALAMITY

The accent led her to take these two words as the same word and she
developed metaphors around their being
the same thing and would talk about the wisdom in that thing of
their being the same thing.

Then using the words SHE and HER became something SENTIMENTAL and I had to stop using them.
I started using quotations because it makes it more "alive."

ب. GHEE:

"At the end put in more ghee: put some more ghee and it makes it better. Makes it tasty."
Mom sent me two bags of halva and encouraged me to have a tea party.

ج. Heaven and Fruit: usually you don't bother with the fruits you've never heard of anyway.

"We drink beer here because we won't have it there..." sung to the tune of a song I've never heard.
How do we know what's there?
Do women get virgins too?
Why would we want them?
Do we get to be the virgins? Is this really how it works?

4. WHITE: the medication makes you painfully sensitive to light.

The starchy white pages of the books we bought from the Islamic Bazaar, vibrating text
printed twice over but not in the same exact spot
makes for fat words talking about hell and insects and occasionally heaven and fruit.

5. In HELL: I was promised a way out.

"If you picture yourself in hell, you'll just snap out of it."

6. Capital letters are the start of something: sometimes when things aren’t moving
forward it gives you time to deal with the old things.

7. Periods are the ends of things: at a girl's first period she stops wearing shorts.

She attends her first and last baseball game with her brother's boyscout troop. She beats them all at bowling.

8. The TRICK: A pinch of baking powder!

9. One HEEL: in the middle of the floor like a dead mouse.

10. One BOOT: with a cockroach in it waiting to give me a surprise party.

They won't send you flowers on your birthday but it was fun anyway.

11. TO BOOT: he reappears within days because I set him free.

12. TWO BOOTS: with little mice in them waiting for me to step on them.

But maybe I only imagined it.

13. MOVING THINGS: those people on the subway that don't hold on to anything.

Some day I will yell at all of them at the same time.

14. The First Moving Thing: moving and shaking makes something out of nothing.

And THAT, habibti,
is where babies come from.