The other day, I walked into a stationery store with a friend and she exclaimed how she loved being there and look at how organized everything was. It was like it brought order to a flailing mind.

As a child I had a piggy bank. It was not a piggy but a steel cupboard with a slit on the top for dropping in coins and a rectangular mirror on the door. It was a glossy burgundy. The same shade as my Ladybird bicycle and the Revlon lipstick that Cindy Crawford wore. It made sense for the piggy bank to be a cupboard this being India and how almirahs are where all the money and gold and silver and other valuables are hoarded. We also had colorful matkas in the shapes of fruits and once they were full we had to break them. These my mother would keep near the altar.

I would tease the coins out of the slit as the key to the door was with my mother and take off to the nearby stationery store and there ‘uncle’ would show me the latest stuff. I would greedily smell the clay and loved the silky caress of the oil crayons and the crispy sheets of the brand new notebooks. I preferred the raw off white paper over the blinding white ones. Still do. I also loved the erasers which had those 3D fish on them and a brush on one end, sharpeners, yellow pencils with eraser tips like the ones Kevin used in The Wonder Years and pretty much everything else.

I suppose we must all have a book, a place, a movie, a song, a painting, a sport to turn to…when life sort of blurs around the edges and turns into vapor and you know nothing knowing everything…you want to sneak away to the backstage away from the drama of life…even if it is only in your head…a place where nothing bad can ever happen to you…For Holly, it was Tiffany’s.

Holly Golightly is one of my favorite movie/book characters ’cause she is a real phony and knows what it is to have the mean reds. Watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s is like going to a place where nothing bad can happen to you. And like you are really understood. Not judged, but understood.

“No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long; you’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? …Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it. Nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then — then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!”

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“I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.”

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“She’s a phony. But she’s a real phony. You know why? Because she honestly believes all this phony junk that she believes.”

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“You mustn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree…”

Image“She was still hugging the cat. “Poor slob,” she said, tickling his head, “poor slob without a name. It’s a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven’t any right to give him one: he’ll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like.” She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. “It’s like Tiffany’s,” she said.

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