The Last Instrument

When it scraped ears,

hands stroking but never touching

I felt the tremble of a faraway place

haunting the hollow instrument

and like a tidal wave the vibrations

washed over me, cleansing, purging.

When the greats of the greats

left my sleepy bow

dancing into the air

microscopic birds

elephant tears

Seven, to be exact.

And swooning to the song

Swaying to the sound

A zillion stories collide

every cell has merged

to create a delicate ballet

of aural comfort.

Immortalité (A bilingual poem)

Voilà, nous sommes arrivés à notre destination.

Our journey is through.

Nous avons laissés l’autre au bord de la rive,

Pour prier.

And say we left him to die

Serons nous coupables?

Nous avons lus les textes

and what did we learn?

Nous avons vus les jours passer

and what have we learned?

Que le temps gagnera toujours

Qu’on n’est qu’un seul point noir

sur le visage de Dieu

And were we to be selfish,

on serait heureux.

L’altruisme mène à la fin.

Our feet burn with

generosity our mouths

with prayers.

Savons-nous à quel point

la tristesse est fatale?

I decay with time

it is only natural

mais dans notre époque

de puissance, de magie,

où se trouve l’immortalité?

You find it in the spring wind

that carries with it the seeds of winter

in the laughs of the ignorant

on le trouve entre les quais du métro,

dans les cours des écoles,

dans les ruelles illuminés, á minuit.

A l’abris du regard de Dieu

we walk into the fire.

Upon Leaving (for Sophie)

When the continents drifted apart,

did they get to say goodbye?

And when you say goodbye,

are you really never coming back?

In French, au revoir means

until we see one another again

An era of symbiosis has ended

Our shackles have left shadows

on our ankles

it feels good, but like any newfound sentiment

I struggle, I hesitate.

The heartbeat of someone who’s gone for good

the racetrack of escape.

I might miss you,

the way you miss your pet when you travel

but then again who’s counting?

The Seine opens under our feet and sighs

it’s like a band aid, just rip it off

Friendship is not necessary

and like all good things

they come and go

the way sisters and brothers do.

The wreckage remains untouched

the haze remains oppressive

Nothing changes over time

but right now everything is changing

Fossils die, too.


Incandescence in the blue

the blue arch the blue

stone and hard rocks

shatter, shaking and shook

Mouthfuls of love

cups of hands melt

and the walls drip

down the curves

Obsession comes in waves, I

ride them calmly through tides

rocked to sides

sleeping, dreams cross my mind

like tourists

taking pictures, packing up, leaving

never ending, never lasting.

Something squeezes my brain

and it squeals with passive pleasure.

Derek, from Starbucks

I keep thinking I see Derek at Starbucks.

I mouth his name, no one answers

I see him in the subway, a few cars away,

a blast of dark hair.

I think I see him at Strand bookstore

in the poetry section

wondering why

poetry is so expensive

I keep thinking I see Derek in the park

Basking in the newfound sun

next to the runners

the dog-walkers

the homeless

And Derek is listening to music

reading a book

I keep thinking I see Derek

I see him in eyes

I see him in beds

I see him in crowds

and I see him in you.



Placed get tainted

We write about it all the time

White canvases sitting beneath

a layer of paint

the blues and reds

a bruised purple


A dark distortion of reality

Oh Paris

If I am salt

You are pepper

and we dance to the flavors

of our memories.

The Universe of Possibilities (upon being in math class)

We don’t really care

we don’t really understand

The universe is full of possibilities

but we are looking for the truth.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

But two negatives make a positive

and two people make babies

The absurdity of the abyss descends

profoundly into the rom

Sweat, stagnant stink

cloud our brilliant minds

But I’ll tell you

x is not the answer

you’re meant to find

the infinity of ends the endless expansion

of beginnings

There is no Venn diagram for love

There is no equation for peace

This room got me thinking in clichés

Such comparisons are like

pigeons who never learned to fly

Life is not logical, it cannot be ordered

into tables. And if one day it does

Let it be the day we succumb

to the struggle for chaos.

Many Waters Cannot Quench Love, Nor Can the Floods Drown It.

We grew up thinking the worst thing that could happen was another Holocaust. Sometimes gang rape was as bad but the Shoah really took the cake. Our shelves were lined with Primo Levi. Bruises were left where family were not. We swore we would never go to Germany. Once a school trip took us to Austria. The ruckus was rare. We swore we’d never get a tattoo, to appease you. We grew up with respect, and once a year would starve ourselves to prove it. I’d tell God I was sorry for eating porc, while you were sinning in your newfound sexuality. The times we’d see her, we’d play dress up in oversized knitted sweaters, smelled like wet cloths. Gobble the food abundant, placed on a tiny table, Hungarian spice. That we’d never know when would be our last Rosh Hashanah all together: four girls. It made it taste better, but we’d leave with a sour ache in our stomachs and had dreams of torture: nail driven into body. Crucification. And thus we were raised: half bred, half wed, a triangle instead. A triangle has three sides and is the strongest shape and form, for many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it.

Everybody’s got to learn sometimes (after Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

If I could erase

every memory we had

the one’s that make me cry

no matter good or bad.

Because some are designed to make you sad

It’s not you though, it’ the compilation of all the disappointments

It’s that I thought I could finally stop searching,

at least for a little while…

And breathe, relax, wait for a bump to be healed.

But the first bump turned out to be a cliff

And you jumped without looking

back, checking that I was with you.

That’s okay,

we all have to be selfish sometimes.

We all need time to grow

Because it’s spring and for the first time

I thought it would mean what they always said it would.

You said it wouldn’t hurt

I promised I wouldn’t cry

I guess we both lied.

And besides,

there are no mistakes

You’re only giving pieces of yourself

Waiting for there to be nothing left

Waiting for there to be a silence

where there was once a voice

A shadow

where there was once skin.

Everybody’s got to learn sometimes

that the original sin will come

bit you in the ass. That when you’re too far out

You can’t swim back.

You didn’t promise me love

I didn’t ask for it

But you hinted at tenderness

and left me dry.

Eating Alone

To sit in this silent refuge,

a haze in which I remind myself

nothing is permanent. Spring dies too,

and I am sad before I have even begun

My journey is yet in its cradle.

We need the money for the food

we need the doggam money!

The soundtrack to my life

is a blurry memory of a fertilized


The best gift I have ever gotten

was my ethnicity

and I am swimming in exoticism

Dear man who hurt me

I could go for lines about

how you hurt me

and the patriarchy

That I receive your call

in the middle of the night

Like a bruised hit

Over and over again

I can feel the iron fist in my gut

before you have spoken

Oh, Monopoly

who gave me false hopes.

We don’t end up with 200$

every time we pass ‘go’.

The threat and lure of an oven.

I can feel it like the anticipation

of a first love

I can feel it like the crack

in my neck

I can feel it like eating


I can feel it like wet shows

wet socks

He beckons and temptation

flickers on a screen

Fourteen points of frustration

Massaged out of the foot of the world

My hands

on your neck, your back

We are at each other’s mercy.

I signed the documents ten minutes ago

Yet we still feel fragmented

like these broken rocks.

We need two legs to run,

I am out of breath

Mein kinder

Your sweet breaths poison mine

with shallow laughter

I leak into your shoulders

the boulders of the world

shift into oblivion.


That I cost

That I linger

That I masticate

That I cardamon

That I yellow

That I ponytail

That I vanish

That I tempt

That I sycamore

That I Shakespeare

That I Vermillion

That I isosceles

That I revolution

That I careless

That I pidgeon

That I epiphany

That I queen

That I age

That I empty

That I fidget

That I lie

That I operate

That I receive

That I die

The Broken Kitchen

Beneath this poem there lies an ocean.

Where time slows to a pulsating tick

And every word I speak

is slowed



Wake me up before I drown

in this hot bath.

A thousand gruesome ways to die

and I have found the simplest one.

I beat the fear out of myself

And I place a single narcissus into my laurel.

My victory

is your victory

Someone called me Rosa Parks

and for a while I thought everyone

was the police.

Above this poem there lies a museum.

A kettle. Shades of lipstick. A smashed violin.

I pluck the strings passing by

for all we ever really do is pass by

and in between the dissonance,

I hear the voice of Dante,

the father of all lost souls.

I regain consciousness among the bodies

Massed among the poppies and white tulips

I cry to the silent reminder that every Pharaoh’s tomb

will one day be invaded.

For a second, Paris becomes the saddest city in the world

Lights beam into my pupils.

Am I under arrest – for being too beautiful?

Yes officer, thank you officer.

Again these dreams weave with no coherent binding.


Baking soda?

No – I make a cake

with a dash of melancholy and suffering,

a glimpse of hope

and a lot of disappointment.

Last year, a tsunami flooded my mind

and I couldn’t breathe for six months

I tried to strangle you

but instead we fucked

and I still couldn’t breathe.

We saw an art exhibit.

Gauguin was ruined.

After this poem is written a silence.

I took it in.

Finally, my blood spoke

Finally, food.

I lived off of that for a bit

Pills only go so far when you have nothing to say.

So I swallowed them dry.

My mind left my body –

not in the spiritual sense,

my nerves just went on vacation.

Back to the ocean.

A giant squid swims into my beckoning arms

throws up a ghost I thought I had slain

So the ghost slithers inside of me

and performs surgery

gluing the nerves back together

But now I am in the museum.

Like all things pretty to look at

And I’m gathering dust

And they look at me through glass,


but only fifteen dollars for a peek.


I am so sick of feeling this confusion this

lifeless beast that nibbles on my bones.

Like the fact that I am so afraid

of being like everyone else

that I do everything to be myself

and in so doing


It’s such a shame

no one wants

To be Charlie anymore.

Because conformity is a crime.

But it’s the crime that makes me feel fine

or like slime

yesterday I joked “I’m an Asian gone wrong,

a Jew with no talent.” Well, I can’t handle money

I’m no genius

But at least I’m an individual, right?

I’ve escaped the irreproachable stereotypes

of being smart

of having good work ethic

and I’m just throwing myself a pity party.

I mean, I’m so proud of being able to say I come

from all these places

having seen all these faces different

from all these peasants who have lived

one place their whole lives

Now, I know this makes no sense,

my thesis is all wrong,

but I guess, what I’m trying to say

Is that we all came from Adam and Eve

And I hate that we always say “Adam”

before “Eve” because religion isn’t part of the problem –

we are the problem, it’s just part of the equation.

“I get it you’re a feminist!”

when it’s convenient,

“Women can be serial killers too.

They can be rapists, and even bankers”

And this all sounds cruel.

Maybe I’m changing my mind, even as I write this.

But I really just meant to say

I’m confused about life

and that’s fine, because

I’m a teenager

And even saying that

makes me upset because all teenagers are

confused and maybe if I had my life

together people would look at me differently

but then again, look at you.

I think this all just came out,

because of social media

I’m not trying to bash social media

(now I’m realizing all my comments have disclaimers

attached to them) but the social experiments

little boys being asked to slap little girls

fat girl goes on Tinder date

it’s all just brainwashing trying

to pretend and to make sure

we’re not insane

it’s a sick cathartic experience

we just need confirmation


But when my cousins are being accused of

genocide! When my country is under constant threat.

Because the fear that I had this week

Walking in the metro, being evacuated

afraid to be shot

is the fear my cousins have every day

afraid of their children taking the bus.

Afraid, and confused.

And I’ll tell you why we commit these

“acts of genocide” it’s because this fear

has been passed down, epigenetically.

this fear has a name and I’m not writing

it down because this isn’t a poem about

the Holocaust, this poem isn’t about anything

really substantial at all. (There I am, putting myself

down again.) GENOCIDE is the deliberate

killing of a large group of people, especially

those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

We would not send our children

like lambs to the slaughter

if we weren’t trying to prevent

the last time we went

like lambs to the slaughter

have we forgotten? Have we forgotten that just

the other day we marched for the freedom of speech

but were we also marching for the Jews?

Would 1.5 million people demonstrate against

the murder of the Jews?

They certainly didn’t last time.

What about

2,000 slaughtered this week in Nigeria?

Who walks for them?

The UN says that most of the Palestinian dead were civilians. Israel says the high civilian death toll was because of Hamas fighters launching attacks from residential areas, including schools and mosques, drawing return fire. Earlier this month Israel ordered a criminal investigation into five incidents in which civilians are believed to have died, and is investigating over 100 incidents in total.

So take us to court, Abbas!

Or don’t, you know we happen to have the best lawyers in the world.

I’m not trying to offend anyone in this room,

I know being offensive is now

something we can die for.

Gosh, I really didn’t mean to get carried away

My teachers say I have to organize my thoughts

but this week really got me thinking

and I won’t stay quiet anymore

I won’t stop myself from expressing my views

for fear of being called an “Apartheid endorser”.

I won’t conform. I won’t be the doormat anymore

I’m sick of thinking I don’t have the right to express

myself because I’m young. I’m done.

Sweet n’ Sour

Sour. That year everything turned sour. The apples. Sour. The chocolate. Sour. The lips. Sour.

And green. Green eyes. Green sky. Green voices. Simple forms, sordid features, solid foundation. They built from top to bottom. I saw the penthouse floating for three weeks before the glassy apartments climbed into view. A fat man takes a bath. Mmmmhhh. Oh yeah, he says, stuffing a bloody swedish fish into his mouth. A woman enters. Sugar woman, searching for some soap. She enters the living room. The 18 month year old is playing with an iPad.  EXT. A park. GOLDIE is playing with her uncle.

La lai la lai la lai, la lai la lai la lai.

Sweet. That year everything turned sweet. The mud. Sweet. The grass. Sweet. The lips. Sweet.

And gold. Gold eyes. Gold sky. Gold voices. Baby’s epitaph, broke empty, busking entitled.

Fire hydrants explode into existence. A hundred stars collide. Sixty seconds tick until the end of time. A skinny woman enters the bedroom. Naked, she wears purple lipstick. She stuffs a bloody swedish fish into her mouth. A man enters. Sugar man, searching for some lovin’. They enter the bed. The 18 month year old is playing with an iPad. INT. A baseball stadium. TOM is playing with his father.

La lai la lai la lai, la lai la lai la lai.

The Devil

Just stretch your arms out

                                                Yeah like that, naked.

On the couch.

I like it when you’re


Appealed to the devil

Twice. I told him

I don’t deserve this.

I’m a LADY.

One time in court

He shook me

                                        You’re mine

He said.

And I believed it, too.

The court ruled in my favor

No one is born evil, they said.

                                                  You’re wrong

The court ruled in my favor.

They are made evil. 

                                               Yeah, I like that color on you

I must be aesthetic.

For who?

                                       For me.

All My Boys Have Pretty Eyes

pretty faces in the pretty darkness

They dance for me in their pretty clothes

and talk to me in their pretty voices

All my boys are in love

they are in love with the way

the sun strokes the monuments

a mother strokes a child.

They are in love with my curves

The way my body slides from side

to side the way my eyes

trickle to the side like almonds.

All my boys are rich.

They bathe themselves in gold,

wreath their heads in jewels

They walk with swagger

and when I talk they stagger

All my boys have pretty eyes.

They listen with their pretty ears

to my honey voice

whispering sexy things.

They pretty hearts leap out

of their pretty cheeks

And Oh, how I am ruthless

with my pretty boys

All my boys play,

They play with my hair

and the curve of my lobes

All my boys like to play,

with toys and dolls –

even dress up!

All my boys are jealous.

They are jealous of my red lips

and the hands stuck to my body

They look at me with dilated pupils

For I am their idol, their crusade.

All my boys taste like blood

and smell like flesh

All my boys have pretty eyes.

To my slightly younger self:


Darling, it’s been too long since I sought the solace of our company.

Your heart is filled with radioactive waste.

I look into the mirror and you dash by only to disappear, reappear, disappear.


We’re both novices to this unkind world, look to your elders for advice.

People will hurt you, but try not to hurt yourself.

Do not be, quote, a servant of sadness.


In our dreams, our flight will sink into the Atlantic – this very July.

18 years of torment, will leave behind a pathetic symphony.


That you exist

That you cease

That the grove of orange trees turn grey, their citric sound into the dust.


We wander through the orchard, through the labyrinth in Transylvania

Let’s lucid dream together

My past and your present are merging; a still of a zygote


That you masticate

That you epiphany

Is a desert of knowledge, fine red sand, oozing through the sips of wind


Your vices are thrice. I would list them, but you know them already.

Our flaws weigh upon us, elephants skinned, Atlas, dropped

Sigh. Relief. When will there be relief?

Tall hand, titanic shoes. Glimpses of the world seep through our pupils.



I fear I am exacerbating the issue.

Stop writing so much poetry.

I will be back again soon.

I fear I am exacerbating the issue.Stop writing so much poetry.

I will be back again soon.


If I could stick rocks in your eyes
and dirt in your mouth
so that you would not have to see
would not have to speak
Of what they did, I would.
This, they know. This, they know.

Bent with sleepless nights, I see the cracks
in your ribcage the way
I see cracks on the streets where you once
played with light dancing on your cheeks
once so fat, once so full.
to the brim they stuffed you with sadness
so that the pores on your nose blackened

And yet you prayed. I could have paid
you to stop it made me red with anger
and any shade but black and white
was no where in sight.
Yes, I was afraid.

There stands a void on the streets where
you once held my hand giggling at a joke
you just remembered.
When you were a baby, you laughed
to hear the sounds of a dog’s bark.
Now we live a linear, laughless life.

My darling,
Can you remember that one Kippur
when you asked me for water
I gave it to you,
you looked twice at the glass and shook your head
No, you said. I have changed my mind.
I was proud of my creation.
For in that moment, I was Adam
but the water was the apple
and I’m not saying it’s your fault
it’s not,
but you drank the water.
You drank the dirty, filthy, water.
We all did.

Now I turn on the television.
9/11 churns; a hot cauldron.
A perpetual motion
of positive discrimination.
“Terrorist” is a complicated term.
And I don’t have the answers
to all my questions
I know now I was not one
And yet was punished so
That Dante’s Inferno seemed
as Milton’s Paradise.


To she who’s fear is being alone
and to the dapple eyed lawyer
who wants nothing more
than to win his first case

and to a sample of people
to whom the placebo is more
than a pill
that goes down the spine

We are all vertebrates.

Moist and Guttural

When something dark and wet
moves within me,
sometimes I think I’ve lived before.

I wonder why people hate
the word “moist” and “guttural”

These musing
deep inside the canyons of my mind

And when the feeling passes
I am left
feeling like
a mango with no seed

Expectations and a Flow of thoughts

Built up on a midnight 

fantasy or was it real?

I don’t know anymore these 

things are all confused 

in my head and in my chest

its swelling like something 

infected and maybe I am 

infected but the word 

infected sounds like I’m dying

And maybe I am dying because 

while my sleeves are drying 

I’ve been in bed crying 

And I know you’re not supposed 

to say that I know you’re supposed to

Shhhh I hear something 

Was it my phone ringing?

Was it real? 

I keep asking myself 

as if my brain

washed it all out in one night. 

Let me keep those memories! 

I want to scream. 

Let me keep the memory of us


and the words we used


and the faces you pulled

gawking at the beauty of 

the landscape, of our eyes 

locking like the locks on the bridge 

the pillars are bending beneath their weight. 

It is now May. 

I was Told

Two strangers met

in a haze and threw in

      a pinch of their bodies.

Out it came from a big C –

its body was covered in stains

Thank God

momma always said,

It’s normal 

she said

  won’t drip won’t stall

till it grew and carried

its unborn child’s vest to work 

and thought of its

tight eyes 

jarred in the slamming

doors, skin stretched so tight it let 

the light in like gravid bellies –

a slim gauze in the winter

like some delicate animal 

like a puzzle almost

solved, hunched over, waiting.

Poem on the Pont Alexandre III

Vertical sky

when they walk south, or down what’s the difference

My head pressed down

into the cement, the river is my bed


The waves are softer 

than I last recall

like the ridges on your grandmother’s round face

the bank divorces the city and water with no faith


Beyond the bridge is another bridge

and it’s darker than it was three hours ago

and there are streaks of salmon sky.


I swear my eyes were only shut for a second. I swear it was September just a minute ago.

As you may have guessed from the sudden eerie silence that emanates from your local school, the Northern hemisphere’s school year is over. For two months (three if you’re in the States or at College), us hooligans are free to do nothing…well not nothing, but certainly free from spending our days in the classroom, watching every hour of daylight drip away as we sigh in confinement.

Of course, I exaggerate. I’ll be the first to confess I LOVE school (most of the time)… I know I probably won’t feel the same way in a few years, but I sometimes feel sad that one day I will no longer be a student. I will no longer spend my days filling my mind with new horizons and exposing myself to new things each day. I will most likely spending my entire energy focused on some mundane, uninteresting task in order to pay rent…keep food on the table…taxes…tutors for the kids…you get the point: being a student is hard but also extremely uplifting, if taken with gratitude. 

As many others from my generation are doing, I am reflecting on my previous years, contemplating my change in the past in the future. Before the following, I would like to include the disclaimer that I am not one (usually) to toot her horn, but I just wanted to include a personal example from my life to illustrate my new found belief that hard work yields great long term results.

Two years ago I ended the school year with sad C+. Coming from a home with Jewish and Japanese blood… well to say the least bringing home a C+ average was not an option. The next year, instead of ignoring the fact of the matter, making my situation worse, I changed my attitude, sat closer to the teacher as to be more involved in class discussion and invested myself. (Warning: doing so may result in crushing on one of your teachers)

Over the course of the next year, I went from B- to B to B+ then this year (despite a few difficulties) I ended up with B+, B+ and finally, FINALLY A-.

And I could make A MILLION excuses as to put myself down one more. Oh, a lot more people this term got A grades that the last, oh, it’s only because the Bio teacher didn’t take in that piece of homework I did terribly in, oh it doesn’t really reflect how average I am… But I won’t. When I decided to stop making excuses for myself being a “bad student” or “irresponsible” I also decided to stop making silly excuses and being humble when I did succeed.

All in all, there are many students who have always been on top. Academics come more easily to them (I’m not saying they don’t work as hard, but still..) but I’m glad I learned the hard way, and I’m glad I proved to myself that I could do it – that I could set my mind to achieving a goal and work on it long term – one long day of studying to another. 

“Long term” is not a sentence favored by the youth. We tend not to see the long run, we usually don’t work “regularity” and in turn are slaves to the impulsive characteristics of teenage hood. Unfortunately this trait will come an bite you in the ass if you’re not proactive. When I got the first red flag that my schoolwork was slipping, I was proactive. I worked longer on my essays, organized my time better, and got more PASSIONATE with whatever I was doing. This may be a small lesson – a little moral in the realm of a lifetime – but it’s one I really value and that of course would have been impossible without the help of mommy. And to that I say if you’re reading this mom, thank you; and I hope your Jewish expectations have been fulfilled. 


I always dreamed a widow would

Someday keep me in her womb,

Teach me secrets of solitude

The road towards my tomb.

I called upon a drifting star

To heed my calls, to lift my scars

To let me live my life anew

And my eyes would see troubles few.

This wish of mine deems to be a selfish one

Lack of maturity I have yet to overcome

Yet is it so unnatural

That I crave a moral world blissfully so?

Last Sedentary Sunday

The bus shakes with every pothole

And sometimes I think it all might fall apart

And I miss New York, NY

Not the land where my fathers died

(Who saw some provincial Japanese schoolyard)

(Or some godforsaken place in 1944)

But where in a true disgrace to the separation of holy church and state

And haven of Solitude Company

I miss a late night egg drop soup.

And this bus 52 nearing a Paris sunset

Takes me to the Arc de Triomphe


Where the Romans and then Nazis once marched

Oh Easter.

When the greatest Jew

Arisen from nail and screw

Joined himself to God

That bastard (lucky)

And looked so fatherly,

Death reigns higher in numbers than Mt. Olive or Mt. Olympus could have dared imagining.

Now on Mt. Everest our limbs fall off

And in my near proximity, Mt. Blanc has turned its nose black.

April 1st and lovers flock to Paris

Another deadline I have missed.

I miss my sister.

I’ll see her soon,

When the coats have been put away for the season

And summer promises to be good.

Daddy, I will see you too

When tedious days of socializing “within the curriculum”

Have surpassed my physical capabilities.

And although I hate to anticipate the awkward drive “home” from JFK

And that groan that accompanies my dive into wallet and bad parenting

(Dangerous cocktail)

I prepare myself.

The route has been so ingrained into the streets

That I doubt the king 16 himself

His blood drying on the guillotine

Stinking under a hot sun unknown to my skin

Would be able to recognize

His utter bliss.

DAY 2: And Then Bill Clinton Shows Up…

I don’t think there’s anything more satisfactory in life than an all in all fantastic day. If it’s any consolation to those who are not on vacation, I’ve had my fair share of long days, but today was certainly not one of them.

Waking up after a fulfilling eight hours of sleep (albeit with jet lag), and feeling empty of last night’s delicious dim sum left me sitting in the kitchen, wolfing down some tasty mango yogurt. Deciding against touring colleges this trip but still stopping by the Sarah Lawrence campus, we made our way to the city. Cruising around Chelsea, “oohing” at the Hudson, “aahing” at all the stores, we arrived at our first destination point: Lenscrafters. My dad had to get some new contacts, leaving me meandering around the city. No less than half a block away, I saw it: Barnes & Noble. I could barely see where I was walking as I stared at all the titles and covers, finally purchasing The Land of Green Plums and 100 Years of Solitude. But my little book shopping spree would not be complete before buying Tina Fey’s Bossypants, of course!

Barnes & Noble, being my first store since I’ve come back to New York, provided as some sort of culture shock – in a pleasant way. Every way I turned, there were members of staff, asking me if “everything was okay” and if “I was finding everything I needed”. This contrasting deeply with the desperate hours of search in Parisian stores for help, receiving a rude remark when finally finding someone. In any case, it’s good to be back.

Passing through Madison Park provided another “pleasant” surprise. OMG BILL CLINTON IS WALKING ON THE STREET OMG. Yes. Just one of my fave dudes was casually walking with some guys in suits, and I stalked him for about a block. As I was hyperventilating, we made our way to one of the best curry and fried pork places I know. I kept fantasizing about how one day Bill and I would be best friends, and I’d have luncheons with Hilary.

Feeling well fed, we went to SOHO, where I made my debut at Topshop, buying the cutest shirt. Unfortunately, I spent a wee bit too much time in there (three floors of fashion is a lot to get through!) and by the time we got out it was starting to get dark.

The last surprise ended up being a quick stop at a supermarket large enough and well stocked up enough to feed the entire African continent, and I wandered around aimlessly, in awe of the skyscrapers of Mac n’ Cheese. After one day of being back, I feel overwhelmed with the overpowering culture of consumerism.

Dad’s making me a sweet meal of steak and saffron rice. I can smell the fried onions from here…so “à demain mes cherries”, rest well and enjoy!

DAY 1: Paris à New York.

I alarm rang up. 7:00 A.M

I opened my eyes again. 7:50 A.M.

Running to a PSAT practice test, the morning of the first Saturday of the long awaited winter vacation is no easy task. Halfway through my metro ride, it hit me: in six hours I would be hallway across the world. Tedious hours of “If 2x=8 and 4-6x=y, express y in terms of x” (I’m not so good at coming up with these question) passed by. Soon after, I ran to get a blood test. They seem to like playing emotional piano music in the testing lab, humorously enough, and for a while I was contented with watching glowing pregnant women emerge from various rooms. T-103, they called, meaning it was my turn. The nurse smiled warmly and took my arm. “Don’t worry, you’re lucky; you’ve got a nice BIG vein on your arm.” I wasn’t sure if that made me feel more comfortable or not until my mother chuckled and repeated “Lucky?” to which the nurse replied “Yes, yes, she’ll feel it less.” I now knew for sure that I was NOT comforted by her words.Nevertheless, it turns out blood tests are not too big of a deal, although I still feel sensitive in my left arm (I know I’m a bit of a baby).

A few minutes after leaving the house for CDG airport, I suddenly realized I had forgotten all my money. Yes, all those US $ I had been saving up for this occasion had been forgotten behind! I went back home to get it and the whole ordeal went by much smoother than expected, unlike those frantic trips with my mother forgetting all the passports, or accidentally mistaking the flight for 6:00, not 5:00.

I’m sitting on the plane, watching the clouds float by, or rather watching the wing soar through them. It feels as though, because of the overcast Paris skies, I haven’t seen a blue sky in a long time. Although I’m high above the Atlantic Ocean, I suppose I find some solace in the fact that maybe, somewhere out there, someone might see blinking lights flash from the sky, and maybe that someone would be a kid, and maybe that kid would wave up at me…

It puzzles me that just a few minutes before leaving, I did not grab books that I haven’t read but should, but rather books I have read and find comfort in. This means I have no new material to keep me occupied while my computer’s battery dwindles to a measly 18%. I took The Catcher in the Rye, Catch 22 and The Great Gatsby. I started re-re-reading The Catcher in the Rye as the plane was taking off, but had to put it down, so that I don’t cry. When I know what’s going to happen in a movie or a book, it makes me cry even harder. There’s just something about Holden Caulfield wandering aimlessly around New York, going into bars, talking to taxi drivers, saying “boy” and “sort of” all the time.

In any case, as I was putting the book down, I noticed some writing on the last page. I was terribly confused until I read it.

“There is a train I know of

That never stops.

And sometimes I wish I could turn back the clocks.

I think I got on the wrong train.

These tracks are worn,

There is nobody in sight

And I’m so alone.

This train won’t stop no matter what it faces

Distance it will go, for billions of paces.

This train is fast, sometimes very slow,

But my problem is that I don’t know where to go.

The directions were so confusing, I should read them again.

Because this map of life has no guarantee

That you’ll end up where you want to be.”

I thought for a few minutes… I remembered writing this…On a train…I must have been 12?

This pleasant surprise got me to think of all my old writing projects I had given up on, so I looked through all my Word docs, and found what I thought was best to re-work – I found the courage to start finishing for once.

So I challenge you today, to finish what you’ve started (Easier said than done!)