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Part 2
New York, Monday, September 5

9: 25 a.m.
Late at work again. God damn I hate this place. Every morning when I wake up I remember what a sell-out I am, what an easy way out I took. Well it was actually pretty hard. I mean, I had to make the decision to break up with Ross and not move to Los Angeles with him. Since he left, he has not called me to this day. That was four years ago. We met in college: He was in film school, I majored in drama. My roommate was a crew member for a short film he was working on and asked me if I was interested in donating my free acting services. The rest is history as they say.

Anyway, after graduation, I tried to audition here and there but no dice. And my money was running out. And I was faced with the threat of moving back to the burbs with mAmAn and bAbA joon. Or leave everything and follow Ross to Los Angeles where he had actually been given a deal with one of the studios there. On the basis of his last year's "thesis" short film. In which I starred in. It was all black and white and very abstract. But I guess he was riding on the wave of the new craze back then for independent artistic-minded films.

Anyway, I have never really liked the idea of "following" anybody. I thought I should make it on my own. Or maybe I just didn't love him enough. That was his explanation. Along with equally hurtful comments about my hypocrisy, the fact that I claimed independence yet I really was too scared to venture too far away from the nest. Well, so what if that's true? I am not ashamed to admit I love my mAmAn and bAbA Joon and the fact that they are only a train ride away. I just don't want to live with them. Doesn't mean I ought to escape from them.

Anyway, back to work. After realizing that the New York waitress-actress cliche was not going to work for me (I could just hear my mom:"In hameh tahssilAt ke beri kolfate mardom beshi???") I decided to enroll in a paralegal certification program. My mom had hoped I would go to law school but I thought that would be too much of a sell-out. At least this way, it was still a compromise. I would not be committed enough in my job to think of it as a career, and meanwhile on the week-ends I would continue to go to auditions. Well. Needless to say, I have not gotten so much as a commercial for these past four years! (Sigh).

And I increasingly fantasize about punching my boss Mr. Grolpy in the face every time I see his hateful silhouette "just happening to walk by" my desk. (He is checking to see if I am doing my work of course! Damn this pink leather and black fur trimmed diary, if it looked like a normal book I could pretend I am just doing work here).

Mr. Grolpy is a generations-old New Yorker. In his seventies, he is short and stout, with a big belly and weirdly disproportionate short arms. His hair is a greas-gray, combed over his bald spot in the most disconcerting manner. He always leaves his jacket off and walks around in his eternally striped shirts with suspenders. Maybe he models himself after that guy from CNN? You know the one, he had like eight wives or something. No not Henry VIII, that's going back a bit too far even for Mr. Grolpy. I hate it when I have someone's name on the tip of my tongue. Ewww. Just got nasty image in my head involving tongue and Mr. Grolpy and old guy from CNN. Must chase away ugly image and reintroduce happy happy thoughts. Oh but I can't right now, I have to continue explaining about the 0ffice.

Well anyway, this guy Grolpy, I bet he is the kind of guy who still wears socks suspenders under his pants. Grolpy is a lawyer who has practiced for the last 40 years in real estate and wills law. So you can imagine the degree of excitement in the office. No unisex bathrooms and hunky lawyer types a la "Ally McBeal" for us here. Nor the gritty realistic life and death situations of "Law and Order". (Okay, I am a courtroom TV show addict).

Anyways with my luck, he was deciding to go into immigration just a few years ago when he hired me. No doubt because of my language skills. I don't know what possessed him to start a new practice in this old age but as long as I get paid, I don't ask too many questions. And turns out he has many Iranian clients (what a surprise!) which fortunately means he can't fire me for now, even though I am coming to work later and later every day.

The only ray of light in this cubicle nightmare of an office (it is like a maze where they dumped us all rats to scurry around in exchange for our bi-weekly piece of cheese) is Nancy, Mr. Grolpy's receptionist. Nance is thirty-years old, a petite blond with short hair and a small frame, kind eyes, warm smile, very soft-spoken. We became instantly friendly and when we found out our Iranian "connection": You see, her husband Hossein is Iranian.

Nance is the embodiement of all I wish to be (Serene wife of loving Iranian husband and mother of two lovely kids) and yet at the same time all that I shy away from. Her life is so stable and nice, and I always am filled with happiness and calm when I spend the odd Sunday at her house, a true nest of cordial family values. That's the problem though. I only feel the need for that kind of environment on the odd Sunday or two. And usually, by the time those visits finally end (we play board games with the kids and order pizza and watch videos), it is not with regret but with a true feeling of contentment that I return to my little hole-in-the wall in the City.

I love being able to go for drinks with Manny and Bruce at the end of a stressful day; check out the latest nightclub, gallery, or play; splurge on that little black dress by Nicole Miller; flirt with dark mysterious guys... All without worrying about baby-sitters or mortgage payments. I guess I am just way too selfish right now to take care of other human beings who will rely on me... Yet, everytime I see a baby in a stroller I feel my ovaries twist inside of me with longing. Maybe some things you never feel ready for so you might as well jump in with both feet. Plus, it would make my mAmAn so ecstatic!

1:45 p.m.
Nance and I went to lunch and soaked up the last rays of the Indian summer sitting on a bench in Washington Square Park. It is our favorite lunch place in the summer. "By the way Naz Joon" (I love her accent!), Nance says between bites of her tuna sandwich, "don't forget to mark your calendar Sunday the 25th, we are having a little thing for Hossein's birthday." She adds after a little soft laugh: "Nothing like your Mexican bash last Saturday, you know, the kids will be there. (The kids are cute-as-a-button Layla, 6-years old, and Jeegar-delicious little Hamid, 4). It will be pizza and cake and lots of party hats and balloons." I smile. Just the kind of party I need to put me back on track. Maybe along with sunrays, I can soak up some of that maturity and stability.

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