Eighteen – I haven’t seen her for four months
and probably won’t for at least six more.

Don’t do anything irrevocable.
Live dangerously.
Walk alone at night, but carry mace. And a whistle.
Eat a lot of chocolate.
If you’re going to skip classes, do it for a good cause.
Boyfriends can be a very good cause.

What do you say to a sister
in a family
you haven’t spoken to in months?

I don’t regret anything.
Well, I do, but I wouldn’t change anything.
If you do something you regret, come live with me.
We’ll eat lots of chocolate.
Walk on cold Chicago beaches.
Cry a lot.

You can pick your friends
but not your family.
I pick you.

And no matter what our mother says
only death is irrevocable.

M.A. Mohanraj
March 21, 1994
(for my sister, the one I never got along with, on her birthday)