Shahr, Shahre Farang biya o tamasha kon, (Shahr Farang is here, come and watch) yelled the old showman in the street, calling all the neighborhood’s kids to come and watch over and over again the same pictures of the Raree-Show. He was standing in the middle of the neighborhood with his Peep-Box. This traditional colorful dress and that wool hat made him look very different, strange and interesting. 

 “CLICK.”

I opened my eyes, a sharp light is burning them, I can’t see anything it’s so bright.

 “Can you hear me?”

 He said, and I nodded my head. 

“Ahhhh I came back again, don’t want to go home.”

 The click indicates we are on a new slide

It is peaceful and silent here, usually not crowded, which makes it so intimate for sleeping, cool air with a bluish color on the walls. She hugged me to sleep.  

“Should I start with the person or the place?”  

“What do you want to know first?” 

“Ok, I will start with the place.”

Yesterday, at the present perfect tense, winter, 1977, on the way to the college of literature, University of 

Tehran, Iran, she was looking at the female students’ colorful umbrellas under the winter snow, with national smiles on their lips,  like Alices in Wonderland recording their lives as normally as possible. I was trying to not look at the camera as she was grabbing my umbrella while looking at me.

“I was living her frozen desire.”

“He has come from the magical world and sells pictures of the places that are not here, pictures of hope.” 

She thought at that time. 

 I was born in a house that had nothing special about it, even though everyone was trying to tell me that this place an interesting history behind it, every part of the place had a story, even a pit in the backyard! But I didn’t see any special things when I lived there. The house was three stories tall with a small little room on top of the third floor. Each story had a bathroom and a kitchen except the second. Boys were on the first floor, they had everything, the backyard, a bathroom, and a kitchen same as my parents on the third floor but my sister and I lived on the second floor without all those luxuries. We lived in a traditional neighborhood in the capital city.

“This is not a dream,” 

 

she said as she was fading away into her little black hole, and she continued,

 

 “This is a moment in time that had stopped, and now has started moving again.” 

 

I couldn't move, couldn't talk, just watched her fade away little by little, and cried.

I remember a few scenes from before, the time when I and my brothers were swimming in the Caspian Sea, Mountaineering with my father, and learning about herbs, the last Chaharshanbe Soury in our neighborhood.

 Chaharshanbe Soury An ancient celebration on the sunset of last Tuesday of the year. It is a fire festival and one of the most favorite celebrations among Iranians. Bushes and firewood are piled in the streets and on roofs and the celebration starts by starting the fire. People gather by the fire and jump over it.

“I just had a dream, a dream that I wish was just a dream.”

I opened my eyes, a sharp light is burning them, I can’t see anything it’s so bright.

 “Can you hear me?”

 He said, and I nodded my head. 

“Ahhhh I came back again, don’t want to go home.”

She rented a room, a small studio on top of a three-floor apartment. The kitchen was super small but it had a big balcony. it had a weird back door for escape, small weird back door on the ceiling.” 

On the first night, she found her first friend, a lizard who kindly ate all the mosquitoes. She was grateful to have such a good friend, they watched the sky at night together with all the red stars. Let’s not get too emotional. 

 “CLICK.”

She was at the studio in the summer of 2007. Her mind was wondering about her daughter and what she might cook for dinner that night.  It was just another day at work.  She inspected one of the photography lights to make sure everything was functioning properly and all of the settings were ideal.  She loved her life,  her success.  She smiled as she twisted one of the bulbs from its lamp.  She was living her dream.  Before she could finish un-mounting the bulb, a thunderous Bang! startled her. She looked over her shoulder to find angry militia violently bursting through the doors searching for the criminal.  Someone had violated the Islamic Code and would become their next example to others of what happens when one disobeys the Sharia Law.

“She had lost something, had to come back to her city.”  

“Should I rent a room and stay?”

 “Do you want me to stay?”

 “I just want to see you one more time.”

I couldn’t find him there, simply because he wasn’t there. I found his firm face looking old around 2016 in London. Still had time in his hand, and proud of his bare bold body, a male from the ancient eras. He faithfully loves all bits of life, and wildly lives all crumbs of it. He surely belongs to a noble clan, “with tartar in his eyes constantly on guard for the coming rival.” 

“ with tartar in his eyes constantly on guard for the coming rival.” My Beloved - Poem by Forough Farrokhzad,

She swallowed her tears again, her head is blank, she can’t think anymore but she can feel her wet hand, it’s disgusting, it's warm. Summer of 2005, it’s two in the morning. She couldn’t remember what had happened exactly. She had to save herself from there somehow, she knew, no one would defend her, no one would help.

 

 “Think think think!” 

 

She had to run, she didn’t have enough energy to fight back, her left hand and feet severely hurt, they were useless. She needed something to scare him,

 

“Think think think.”

 

“There is a knife on the kitchen cabinet, will it work?!”

 

She gathered the rest of her energy and jumped.

“Should I make you remember?”

“Remember the thing you have to apologize to me for…” 
“I have only been here for two days, do I have to know everyone’s faces?”
“We have met three times.” 
“When was the other time?”

I was lying down in front of the window with the sunset view, a bias line of orangish color cut my fingers, looking at my fingertips the only point that was focused and ... concentrated. I love my hand and that is all. My hand was getting darker and darker as the sunset, yellow, gray, bruised. There was an even darker place in my body, a little black hole in my chest, sucking me inside.

“How do I look? I can’t see my face!” 

 

I was in pain, I didn’t know it would hurt that much. 

 

 My lips are dry, too dry to speak.

"I shall see him at any moment"

She will die by your hand one day

TO BE CONTINUED