Daddy’s home

Everybody is scared of being alone in the city. There is always that sparkling energy and nervousness of constantly wanting to meet others. There is that need to be loved. A need for connection, for intimacy and friendship. Everybody’s alone, including you and I.
As I walk through the crowd, wherever I am, wherever I am going, I try to hold my head up. I am not weak, I remind myself. I made my way here. I am walking here. I belong here. And then I think of all the places people leave behind because they have to, not because they choose to. I think of the ones who are in places where they are miserable and sad, where they are not welcomed, where they are only trying to survive. I think of Maman and Baba, their journey to America, their love, their sacrifice. Baba used to always say he would never go back to Tehran because he hated living there. I never believed him.
I know a part of him must miss something. He has happy memories too, like the trips he used to take as a young man, and how he and his friends ate kabobs with butter and egg. That was his home. He must have some of its parts still within him.
I think of Daddy as I walk through the busy streets of Manhattan. I think of how he brought me here, how he raised his children, how he was always content, always humble, always grateful. He was proud of me. I just knew he was proud when he hugged me and said I would do great things.
I think of Daddy. When I am alone in the midst of the crowd, lost and happy in my thoughts, I think of him and push myself forward.

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