After work I heard news of Japan, listening to mother describe the apocalyptic madness happening on the other side of the world. Heartbreaking terror. If only life granted me to hop on a plane. Footage of waves of debris, cars and ships floating like lava across farm land, toward homes and traffic. Helpless. Watered eyes. Sending prayers.

I escaped home early evening, bent on not remaining trapped inside four white walls. Barnes & Noble was my first destination, walking the aisles of fiction literature for over an hour, debating which novel to add to my collection. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, and Incendiary by Chris Cleave all caught my eye, until I settled on True Grit by Charles Portis. I debated attending the movies- alone- but found myself nonchalantly walking about the outdoor shopping mall.

Mother and I talked on the phone, discussing my yearning for a home. Selfish, I think. Analyzing, reflecting, appreciating life, I waited in the 20-car line at In N’ Out. The windows were rolled down as I drove down the freeway, listening to The OC mixes. The sunroof open, catching glimpses of the sky above between slurps of chocolate shake. For a brief moment I imagined a make-believe field where no harm can touch me, gazing at the constellations. I took a detour down a desert road, near a ritzy neighborhood. It’s one of my favorite places to escape, on the top of the hill, where my eyes can behold a sea of endless city lights. ★