Deer without hands

What is it, sweety?


I saw a deer.

You saw a deer?



In my room.

There was a deer in your room?

I saw a deer in my room right there.

What did the deer do?

It went down the stairs.

Did it use the railing?

No, it didn’t have hands.

The deer didn’t have hands?


Were you scared?


Did the deer say anything?

No, it left the room with it’s friends.

What friends?

There were two other people.


Over here.

There were two other people in your room?


Did they talk to you?

No. They left my room and went down the stairs.

Did they hold the railing?

No, because they didn’t have hands.

The two people didn’t have hands?

No, and they couldn’t hold the railing.

Were you scared?


Did the two people have black hair?

Blonde hair?

Were they men or women?

Did they look like me or like mommy?

They looked like you.

(And hair stands on end.)

Subways and Stairs

I wake up to cabs screeching on the road.
Words that should not be spoken by very angry drivers.
Bright and early.
Good morning, New York City.
I walk with my dad to a bakery. L'imprimerie.
I get a shot of espresso. 
Enough to jack me up on caffeine and make up for my loss of sleeping in.
We leave, and walk around for a bit. 
We talk so much that I hardly notice my agonizing feet.
We eat pizza, pretzels, and lamb.
Credit to the food stand on North 3th street.
Then, Dad and I head down to the subway and hop on.
We arrive at Central Park and wait for my mom.
She arrives at around 1:00.
I say my greeting to my brother, and we play in the park.
Meet some other kids my age. Play a little bit of baseball,
The usual.
After Mateo and I are not able to move or breathe, Mom calls a taxi.
We go into Brooklyn and go shopping.
Mateo and I beg for something that is useless and that we will forget in a day.
But she still says yes, and we have joy for a few minutes.
Until one of us starts a fight.
Couple bruises, couple sore spots.
Also the usual.
We get home, and start the treacherous journey up the 13 stair cases.
Oh goody.
We get to our apartment, and eat some dinner.
Afterwards, we watch a movie (sometimes we eat dinner while watching the movie).
We say goodnight, and I head to bed.
Another beautiful day.
I fall asleep to the honks and yells.
Goodnight New York.

Rafael Zafir (age 13).


Only surround yourself with things you find beautiful. With things that bring you joy. If you are in your home and see something that does not give you joy… throw it out. get rid of it, donate it, offer it to a friend, but hurl it the fuck out of your window into the streets in a garbage or recycling can. It does not belong with you. It is not on your journey.

Look at this desk. I built this desk. I did not build the desk but I gathered the materials and told someone else exactly how I wanted it. Yes those shelves were already put together I only ordered them. Yes, my wife picked the color. I chose the wood on top. It WAS from Ikea. I think they’re normally used for a kitchen table. But I decided where it would go and I decided that it would be in this house. Now we are leaving this house and I am sorry that I am taking this thing with me. I love this thing. I love this furniture. I love this piece. It gives me great joy. I have worked very early in themonring and very late at night on this desk. I have provided food for my family on this desk. My wife provides food and clothes for our family from this desk.

Hey desk, maybe no one will mourn for you when. you die, and maybe you will never die, but one day soon you will have a different owner and for that it will be a death to me. I love you so much. I love everything you’ve given me. You have always been there. You have never faltered. I hope I brought you joy. I hope I deserved your beauty, elegance, and grit. I will always remember you. You were there when I rehearsed my lines, wrote my plays, poems, emails, and talked about changing the world while my fingers smashed down on a tired old keyboard. That word means nothing to you. Maybe all these words mean nothing to you. But you mean something to me. And I will forever be grateful.

I love you, and I know you will bring someone else joy. That is the meaning of you life, I think.