Same thing, different continent

Same thing, different continent

It’s bike rush hour. The sun is brilliant in the cool morning, and I left my house fifteen minutes later than usual. I’ll still be on time for work, but I won’t be early. I like being early, the time that I usually use, when I arrive at 8:30, to settle into my chair, boil … Continue reading

Belong everywhere

Belong everywhere

“Je me sens comme une vraie hollandaise!” I exclaim to my landlady as I walk through the door on Wednesday, soaked in rain. We communicate in French, and I’m telling her that I feel Dutch because I rode my bike home in the rain, like the parents who pile their toddlers into seats on the … Continue reading

Let it be uncertain

Let it be uncertain

“This moment shall be vivid. Bring on the Islands, the foreign languages, the unfamiliar streets and let it be uncertain. Everything’s uncertain. I feel the excitement that lies therein.” I wrote the words above when I was 22 and departing on a ten-week self-directed research trip in four countries. I was dramatically alone, but I … Continue reading

To love and to serve

To love and to serve

“There’s a serial killer killing prostitutes,” my mom tells me on the phone. It’s the end of July, and I’m calling to catch up, as I try to do most days. She tells me that she missed my call earlier because she was on the phone with the homeless shelter in Philly where she spends … Continue reading

cracks at the seams

cracks at the seams

In the rush of water crushed against rocks, the men grab the edges of children, spilling from the press of bodies in the boat, water up to the knees, no hands thrown up in joy. Arrival like its own new fear, every step a strange push forward. Desperate people will always find a way. In … Continue reading

No room for grief

No room for grief

It is almost Christmas, and my mother is standing in the kitchen, between things. “What am I doing?” her question resounds, but it’s not because she’s forgotten. She looks lost in the room. I’ve never seen her like this before, absent. I hold the shell of her in long hugs when she can’t decide what … Continue reading

The space I occupy

The space I occupy

Spring break 2016 I fold up the pages of case law I’m reading on the C train uptown and put it away as I climb off the train and out of the underground onto a sidewalk in Harlem. I emerge along St. Nicholas park where I used to run on mornings before work on my … Continue reading

Fraud

Fraud

The Hudson River slips calmly by my Harlem apartment, flat in the evenings with the red Western sunsets. A fourteen-year-old trusted me today. She, with her dark hair and terrified eyes, opened up one sentence at a time. Eventually, she asks me if I will be her mom. Her glossy, wide eyes are serious. I … Continue reading

Sexual assault in the media

Sexual assault in the media

There is no one certain way to be a sexual assault survivor and no perfect narrative when it comes to trauma. Even if it seems like dramatic trauma stories are the only way to spotlight the issue, promoting media-created “celebrity stories” can actually hurt outreach to sexual assault survivors and counter healing. Continue reading