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Part 31
New York, Thursday May 12

1: 03 p.m
I am torn between unbearable joy and terrifying fear. I don't know if it is wise to let myself feel so happy and optimistic.

Dr. Flaherty had a smile when he entered bAbA's room with the result of his tests. My father's chest x-rays showed an 80% improvement. All 3 of us just held each other and mAmAn and I cried.

I finally came out of the room to make some phone calls, spread the news. Nurse Amber was at her station beaming at me. I walked over to her and we hugged. As we were conversing, Elia passed by and asked about the commotion. I told him the good news and he offered his congratulations and hugged me too. When he walked away, I realized I was too caught up in my joy to inquire about his daughter. When I asked Nurse Amber, she lowered her eyes.

-- "His daughter died this morning."

My limbs shook as I heard the news. I felt selfish in my happiness. Why did it have to be this way? On the same day, one daughter gaining her dad back, while another dad lost his daughter...

Monday May 30

10:30 p.m.
We brought my dad home today. A quiet homecoming as we don't want to tire him too much. It has been a miraculous recovery and the doctor has kept warning us we have to bring him back for his check-up because of the high chance of the cancer returning. But all I know right now is that my heart feels light and I envision the future with no fear. I know deep in my heart the danger has passed.

BAbA has come out of his treatment feeling fine but weaker. He can't go up our three flights of stairs for now without losing his breath. Lost one molar due to radiation, and he will have problems with hot spicy foods or too much fiber as his stomach and intestines were somewhat hurt, but generally Dr. Flaherty told us he will have a perfectly normal life.

BAbA Joon is home!...

Sunday June 6

9:30 p.m.
After one week at home making sure everything will be all right with my dad in his recovery, I am now finally back in my apartment in the City.

I was worried about leaving bAbA alone (well, technically he has my mom of course) so soon after his miraculous healing. But he is the one who insisted. One afternoon, shortly after his return home, he sat me down in the kitchen and poured us two bowls of mint chocolate chip ice cream (It is so good to see him with an appetite again!). In between spoonfuls, he told me that he was very appreciative of all that I had done for him and mAmAn the whole time he was in the hospital. That I was welcome home any time to allay any fears or worries I had about his health. But that he had raised me to be a big girl, to be able to fend for myself, and live my own life, and that I would not be helping him by hanging around this quiet corner of the earth all day long.

"Nazanin aziz," he told me in his best Dad's voice, "No matter what you choose to do from now on, you have my full support. But you must get up and do it. I have given you 3 things to help you cope better with life's bumpy road: love, laughter, and hopefully, courage. Now go on and make your old dad proud."

And with that, he handed me a train schedule for Grand Central Terminal.

Now the problem is that since I am back in my own little hole in the wall in the City, I cannot help but face the horrible realization that I don't know what to do with my life. I have no job thanks to Grolpy. And I have no desire to go back to another law office. Yet I have to pay rent and given my money-saving habits, I guess it will be nothing but cereals and milk for the next coupla weeks. Okay, stay positive: This is an opportunity for me to take a different route in my life, do something for me. This is where you, dear diary, come in helpfully. I will plan out a schedule for myself of all I need to do to change my life for the better. Yeah, yeah I know. Famous last words. But I am really serious now. I am going to write down a tight schedule down to the minute of all the things I have to do. I will start tomorrow to follow the schedule like a new bible. I have it all worked out:


7:30 a.m.: Wake up and go jogging for half hour or more if feel energized. Have made plan with Ali to go jogging every morning on the path along the Hudson. He will start at Tribeca, and I will start from the Village and we will meet at half-point IF I can make it that far.

9:00 a.m.: Shower and breakfast: Drink lots of water as I have read in Cosmo Mag that 10 glasses of water per day makes you lose weight AND have glowing skin. Quit coffee (makes me crave smoking). Also quit smoking!

10:00 a.m.: Log on to internet and research job sites; Update "fabulous" resume and send to head-hunters. Should be CEO of major company in no time.

1:30 p.m.: Go to Farmer's Market in Union square for fresh fruits and vegetables as I am cutting all carb, chocolate, and junk food out of diet.

2:30 p.m.: Have lunch/dinner (one meal per day only) of salad and work some more on internet.

5:30 p.m.: Go to bookstore and pick one self-help book or spiritual journey or other and read one chapter at least.

8:30 p.m.: Write in diary at least one positive realization of the day and one negative realization.

9:30 p.m.: Practice farssi by attempting to read, define and copy by hand at least one news article from one of the online Iranian newspapers and magazines.

10:30 p.m.: Do 100 sit-ups to firm abominable abdominal section of body.

11:00 p.m.: Go to bed so as to get up bright and early for next morning's jog. Repeat schedule as needed until breakthrough career prospects and lost 20 pounds.

Monday June 7

12:41 p.m.
Craaaap...Stayed up late last night watching late night talk shows (Bill Maher, then switching back and forth between Conan and Craig, then very oddly coming face to face with dinosaur-looking woman who yells a lot... Dr. Laura! What's she doing on in the middle of the night?). Finally went to bed with my headphones switched on to talk radio. You wouldn't believe the weirdos that rule the airwaves at night. One particularly odd couple, Ron and Fez, made me laugh so much I kept awake wayyyy past my bedtime. Consequently overslept on my alarm clock and got late start. Oh well, no matter, go jogging now.

12:50 p.m.
Ooofff...stood up from bed and felt head very dizzy and personality generally cranky. Decided to put on coffee. Come on I need the jolt of energy before my run. I haven't exercised in ages (and it shows! Gasp!)

1:02 p.m.
Looked outside window and looks kinda gray...Still in P.J.s...Better log on to internet first to do job search and resume update and then will go for afternoon jog.

1:07 p.m.
Mmmm...Caffeine brings need of nicotine. Look into purse...There's a half-empty pack of Capris...Well no sense in wasting the pack is there? I mean, probably those cigarettes were rolled up by minimum-wage Peruvian laborers in a basement in New York somehwere...Can't let their efforts go to waste. can I? ...Think will finish off the pack THEN quit smoking for good...

1:12 p.m.
Very odd... Started surfing through net and came across Iranian chatroom. Never been in those chatrooms before. Always heard about it though. Last year, friend of friend got married through chatroom lover etc. Got curious. Logged on. Hmmm, they ask for a nickname? What the heck could I be? Look at other nicknames for inspiration.

On the girls' side, see a lot of peeshy, Persian-peeshy, peeshy-miaow-miaow, malouss, arouss, aroussak, assal, morabbA, (hmmm getting hungry, but where is the noon karreh?), limu-torsh, limu-shirin, tootfarhangi, hooloo, holoo and holo. On the guy's side, not so much cute pet names and fruit names as very macho names like: Amoo-Sibill, Sibill-Kolofft, Gharemoon, or romantic names (massalan!) like Romeo, Fabio, Persian Prince, Zorro, and Batman. Very odd. Think will log in as Cinnamon in honor of Peerooz's fiancee. (Am so evil!)

1:22 p.m.
Hehehe... this is kinda fun... Oddball chat we are having here. I don't even know who is a man, who is a woman, who is pretending to be the other, etc... One pair is fiercely debating the merits of the Islamic Regime vs the Shah, while other muppets are busy trying to score a date for next saturday night. Some guy is busy reciting poetry to his muse (is she there or just lurking?) and others are showing off their foreign language skills.

A sample is:

-- Ghahremoon: The late Shah was a benevolent dictator; he gave lots of freedom to women and religious minorities. That is a lot more than I can say about the mollas!!! What do you say to that?


-- Zorro: Sallllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmm kassi az tehran michatteh???

-- MOLLA: I say: "Khaffeh sho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

-- Cinnamon: Hi everyone.

-- Romeo: ~~~~ A rose by any other name would smell as sweet ~~~~

-- Ghahremoon: Who you tellin' to shut up MOLLA????

-- DaVinci: signore, signora, ragazzo, ragazza, mi amore, mamma mia.....

-- Amoo-Sibill: Ghorbooneh essmett beram cinnamooooooon...a/s/L ?

-- mAsst: KhiAAAAAArrrrrrrr????? KojAyee KhiArrrrrrr doosste azize man?

-- Cinnamon: Hi Amoo-Sibill....what???



-- Amoo-Sibill: A/S/L? yanee Age Sex Location?

-- KhiArr: Man injAm!!!!!!! Wherever there is mAsst, KhiArr cannot be far away hehehe!!!

-- Cinnamon: oh. let me think...ummm...I guess 26/Yes Please/Somewhere comfortable

-- Romeo: Roses are red ~~~~~Violets are blue ~~~~~~~~

-- Amoo-Sibill: Chee-chee???


-- Cinnamon: um...never mind...

-- Zorro: LooooL Sallam Cinnamon, az Tehran michatti????????

-- *mAsst winks at KhiArr*

-- Amoo-Sibill: Zorro I saw her first, therefore cheese mine. Liver alone!


-- Ghahremoon: TO KHAFFEH SHO! Long Live the Shah!!!!! Death to Mollas!!!! What do you say to that?

-- DaVinci: ravioli, spaghetti, tortellini, linguine....

-- limushirin: Hello? Anybody there?

I think I am gonna chat just five more minutes and then...

Sunday June 13

10:00 a.m.
Am so ashamed of myself. Ali buzzed my door this morning, dropping by unannounced to check up on me. Has been worried as has never seen me show up on jogging path even once since we planned our exercise routine and my line is always busy when he phoned.

Found me in my P.J.s, pizza boxes accumulating on kitchen table, and Iranian Chatroom staring guiltily at me from my computer screen. When he went to disconnect, I couldn,t help but scream out: Naaaahhhh, sabr kon, limu-shirin is in the middle of a fight with limu-torsh and I am trying to counsel them!!! Then I just realized what I said and plopped down on the ground desolately.

6: 02 p.m.
Feel so much better now. Ali took me for a coffee, and a walk. We talked and talked. Everything since Ross, to the four years rotting away at Grolpy's, to Peerooz (at the sound of his name, he winced but kept quiet), to my dad's ordeal, to my present confusion.

Admitted to him my first love is acting but am too scared to pursue it. He was so great. He told me all these things about your heart and how the fear in your heart will trick you into not following the path to your happiness and how you have to tame that fear. Felt so nice to listen to his smooth honey-like voice. Better than to read any book. Finally decided to go tomorrow on the hunt for a talent agency! Ali came back home with me and helped me clean up the place. Cooked me a nice simple dinner, some seafood salad from the South of France or something where he had lived for a while. Am so psyched about tomorrow!

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