Amazon Honor System

Fiction * Support * FAQ * Write for
* Editorial policy
An hour later
Short story

By Heather-ley Peckham
July 22, 2002
The Iranian

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 it takes.

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 with.

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 always is.

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.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for Heather-ley Peckham



The man with blue and green eyes
Ancient and modern man
By Maryam Kazemieh

To Lili ro booseedee!
Short story
Translated by Namdar Nasser

Sobh beh kheyr
Short story
By Hossein Nushazar

Here's not looking at you, kid
Short story
By Azam Nemati


* Recent

* Covers

* Writers

* Arts & lit

* All sections

Book of the day

Arzeshe Mirase Soofieh
By Abdol Hossein Zarrinkoub

Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact:
Web design by Bcubed
Internet server Global Publishing Group