On the Difficulty of Making Friends

On the Difficulty of Making Friends

The scene is a winter party, Chicago, the year 2015. There are large platters of powdered cookies and plates of soft cheese. There is an eight-quart stockpot of mulled wine on the stove, all floating orange segments and cinnamon spice. And there is an older crowd:...
Snoring Shanmugam, and Other Cautionary Tales

Snoring Shanmugam, and Other Cautionary Tales

I spend much of my time reading, always have. When I was in elementary school, I even read during recess, sitting alone by the tanbark box, hoping not to be hailed into a monkey-bar race or other gymnastics contest for which I was congenitally unprepared. Nowadays, in...
There Lived a Certain Man in Russia Long Ago

There Lived a Certain Man in Russia Long Ago

On a Friday night in Chennai in September 2015, we go with friends to drink gin and eat Jack Daniels chicken at 10 Downing Street. Styled as a British pub, 10 Downing Street is actually #50 B.N. Road-but you can see why they would change the name. It is retro night....
Chasing the Dissertation Mouse

Chasing the Dissertation Mouse

He showed up in May, a flash of fur and tail that my husband mistook for a cockroach and my mother identified swiftly as a mouse. He came flying out of my home office; then, skirting the wall of the dining room, made his way into the kitchen, where he would, over the...
A Letter to My Husband After My First Weekend Home Alone

A Letter to My Husband After My First Weekend Home Alone

You’re probably not supposed to feel elated when your husband and two year old leave on a family trip without you, but I did. Thursday, after I dropped you both at the airport, I worked for a little while, then decided to do what I normally can never do: leave the...