|An hour later
By Heather-ley Peckham
July 22, 2002
We had a delightful conversation a few days ago. That Friday I made shit at work,
and I was in a terrible mood, of course, the alcohol didn't help matters. The combination
was devastating to my altered sense of fake confidence.
I was ready to walkout twice, when once a young guy stopped me in mid-office, as
I was preparing myself to ask Lee the big question, and practically begged me for
my time in the private dance area. I thought I need the ego boost to prove I haven't
lost it yet, and besides I can't leave broke, so I closed the door before I could
open my mouth to management and ran off with the boy and his twenty.
The second time, after only making a few bucks and being shot down by the pigs more
times than I could afford, my hands were going for the office door once again when
suddenly Matt jumped out in front of me and surprised me.
I was glad to see him. Good, I thought, someone I can commiserate with, or at least
talk with for awhile and relieve myself of this social discomfort and torturous evening
of walking around mechanically stalking guys for their money. Matt was one of those
rebounders I occasional and selfishly used to break off my attachment to Mr. Wrong.
He didn't have anything of much interest to say, but I was still glad he was there.
When the night ended, I ended up with only a bit over $100, half intoxicated. It
was time to call Dariush. I needed a decent person to talk to, to remind me that
they still existed. And there it was, the moment I heard him speak the light form
his voice shined into my eyes. I knew this brief chat over the phone ,as we were
millions of miles apart, was all I needed to heal my jaded heart, and before I could
bring up my hateful feelings toward my job and my life they disappeared.
We were left to talk about family, mutual friends, Iran and Florida, Belgian chocolate
and colored chadors. The unsettling thought of the vulgar drunk that tried to touch,
the unforgiving rudeness that spread throughout the crowd like a disease, all the
perves that turned me down for some younger skinnier blonde, the shameful wonderment
while practically stripping for change of whether or not I'd make tip out was gone.
All gone. Just like that.
Dariush always has a way of being there for me even though he's not really there.
And out of nowhere he told me he was coming home. It's been four-and-a-half months.
I thought I'd lost him to Iran forever. His homeland, where his whole family resides,
back in Iran where I suspiciously thought in all our time together he would end up,
always. It then occurred to me that perhaps he was just blowing smoke up my ass and
his too, as usual...., but then he gave me the date, August 22nd.
"I'll be flying into LAX.," he said.
(Dramatic pause) "But what about your job, and your family?"
(Puzzled) "I need a breather. I'll be back in a few weeks or months to finish
up work. But Iran is no longer the place for me. My home is in Los Angeles."
I repeated to myself immediately: "I will not follow." "I will not
follow." What a disappointment I would be to look so sad, and weak, and desperate
to run back to L.A. again, for him.
All this time, I felt a slight comfort knowing he was in Iran so far away it was
impossible to see him. Banished and nothing I could do. This thought kept my sanity,
and planted me right back home in Florida far away from L.A., and Dariush, where
I belong grounded in one stable place where I was ready to start school in just a
few short weeks and retire from dancing.
Finally I was seeing things in perspective, knowing he couldn't possibly intrude
on my life or hold the taunting temptation of being within reach, I could finally
lay my heart to rest and get on with my more normal idea of a new life.
But, now he's coming home. And if that's not enough he insists we should "meet
up" whether he buys me a ticket to L.A. or he flies to Florida. On the phone
we were determined to see each other. The idea was delightful at the time and a complete
given. I didn't have to think twice about it. He asked that I look for time-shares
in Palm Beach, and we'll go from there. He asked me to keep in touch anyway possible
whether phone or email, and he'll call too. "NO Problem!"
He lifted my spirits once again -- and again I let them sore a few days before I
pulled myself from the clouds for a reality check. He may not even come, and if he
does, that's even worse. Why on earth would I do this to myself? I've known this
man for three-and-a-half years. I realize I am getting ready to grant him permission
to run through my life, chase my heart and catch it, then take off while I run after
him to get it back or get something back that I've lost -- maybe him.
In the midst of another unwanted gain, a new emotional attachment, one stronger as
the day we met, he leaves me behind bewildered in the jet's fumes as he takes off
and gets on with his real life in Los Angeles or Iran or wherever he decides to live
next. I've spent many nights debating how I could eliminate him from my life forever.
But still, after all this time, he continues to lure me into his web. Then, when
he has me good and tangled he takes flight knowing I'll be waiting for as long as
I called him back after several days without speaking. As if our exciting plan of
catching up was just some story short lived over the telephone and that's where it
ended, when we hung up. Heart broken again the only solitude I had was my pride.
So I muster up enough of it to tell him not to bother coming to Florida, I've made
other plans. Brief and unaffected, he carried on as if we never made plans to begin
We talked about his younger brother's arrangements for college and his mother's insistence
that he relearns to separate underwear from the rest of the laundry -- for sanitary
reasons I guess Every bit of conversation from there on was just as trivial as it
An hour later when we hung up I sat in my lonely home pondering how wonderful it
would have been if only he were here, but not really.