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Now what?
Leaving home

By Lilly Benevis
October 22, 2002
The Iranian

Well guys, let's just say that the whole reason I haven't been writing these past few days is that the shit has hit the fan at the Casa. Since the last time you have heard from me, my parents have since kicked me out of the house, taken my car, and basically disowned me in every emotional and financial sense there is.

Now, I wouldn't have minded so much if I was prepared for the fiasco, but obviously, this came as a complete shock. So what? I packed my things in the few trash bags and I went on my way to unmarried liberation.

Although I only have 20 years to my name, the world has proven to be a pretty unpredictable place. I would love to elaborate on every single detail, because I'm most certain that it would be of great benefit to Iranians on a grand scale. However, you must understand that I have to protect myself first, since this is such a crucial stage of my life and my survival depends on whether I handle things right.

I'll submit my past articles for now, so that you get a feel as to how things escalated to a level of destruction. Ill write again tomorrow, giving you an update as I go along. Also, let me know if you want to even hear this. If not, ill just keep my journals to myself. No reason to make others susceptible to my stories, agar nakhaan!

October 11, 2002

I could never imagine that returning a book could ever bring about so much joy to a person.

I came home this evening and encountered madness at home, again. Although it isn't much of a surprise to me anymore, I always come home with a glimmer of hope that all will end well, or that I will be left alone. It never ends up that way, but the optimist within always tries to conquer my reality.

Okay, so my mom was flipping out, ranting and raving about the house, yelling about how I have ruined the lives of countless people and have incurred ridiculously high monetary expenses in my thoughts of not wanting to be married. She explained that she is tired of being the victim to the ups and downs of my bipolar-ness. The saddest part is that I'm not even sick, yet.

My dad got pissed when I didn't have my wedding ring on upon arriving chez hell. I knew that I was going to forget to put it back on at some point in time, and then all hell would break loose. That happened today. He pulled the salad I was enjoying out of my hands and ordered me to give me the rings so that I would have "nothing to worry about". Gee thanks dad. I appreciate your consideration for my worries.

He went on to tell me that my crazy uncle and I deserved each other and that I was out in the streets just like he was when he was out losing his mind. That crushed me. I went to my room. I didn't have a dime to my name. The gas gauge spelled "seriously empty", and I couldn't get out. I frantically searched my mind for a way out of this dilemma.

Suddenly, I remembered the 2 books I had bought from Border's a few weeks ago. I ran to my car, praying that the receipt would still be there. Sure enough, the crisp white paper was tucked safely within the first page of White Oleander. There was hope, if only my car would make the 15-mile trip.

I went outside to find my dad on the front porch smoking. Tears found their way down my cheek. I popped the trunk and put my purse away. "Where do you think you're going?" my dad inquired. "I'm off to be like my crazy uncle and wander the streets like the vagabond that I am."

"Lilly, in kaaro nakon azizam," he answered.

"Please, the only time you call me azizam is when you are being sarcastic, or if you are pissed off," I thought.

I cried, explaining that he and mom always left me to deal with the pain of their comments on my own. Between gasps of tears, I reasoned that there would be no problem if they just listened to me with an open heart. They would not have to pay a plethora of doctors' fees just to find out what I am about.

I'm telling the story of my heart each day on paper. I just need a non-judgmental audience. I got into my car and wept with the door open, my dad standing just a few feet to the left. He watched me turn the key, then strolled inside the house and shut the door. My vision was blurred by salty tears, as a slowly backed out of the driveway, praying that I could return the books.

I cried all the way to the bookstore while savoring the last cigarette in my possession. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, I pulled into a parking spot and retrieved the books from my trunk. I went inside broke and came back out $31.84 rich.

Instantly, all of my sorrows vanished as quickly as they first seeped into my soul. I was rich! Filthy rich! I immediately pulled into the nearest gas station and waited to pump gas. You could tell I was ecstatic by the mere fact that I did not strangle the 80-year-old man that took 20 minutes to pump gas and finally pull away. I immediately poured $10.00 worth of fuel into the tank and then proceeded to treat myself to a pack of cigs. Yum! My car and I were both in heaven. I was on top of the world, and I felt good.

When I climbed back into the car, I immediately relieved Moin from his duty of helping me cry, and I slipped my favorite club mix into the CD player. I danced all the way to the coffee shop that I am writing this very piece from. This is the same coffee shop that my uncle spent his last days withering away his sanity -- Please God, don't let history repeat itself.

October 13, 2002

Whew! Let's just say that things have been taking a lot of turns. Some have been for the better, while others have been for the collective worse. My parents started off by taking my car away this Sunday afternoon, when I was off to the library. They said that they were not going to contribute to my demise and that they were not going to help me out in any which way possible. I thought that things would not end up this way, but my presumption was just another sign of my naievety. I guess this just proves the point that we cannot be under the same roof.

It was after a day spent catching rides to school and work that I came to the decision once again that this was not going to work, and that I had to leave, so long as I planned on preserving my sanity. Last night when I got home, my dad said that I need to drop out of school, and that he was not going to take me the following morning. It was upon hearing his comment that I decided to begin packing, and my final destination, wherever it may be, is far more appealing than being at home.

I packed all through the night, and in the morning, I got a ride from my boss to school. That's where I am right now, as I describe my dilemma. I know that I have a temporary place to stay. Therefore, I have nothing to worry about concerning the possibility of living in the streets for the next few days.

I also have a job, and my boss said that I will continue to be employed, so long as I made a visible effort to continue preserving my life. I have all of my clothes in my friend's car, so I won't look homeless from the outside. This morning, I found an ad on campus, looking for a female roommate to pay $330 a month. I called and left a message, so that may be a possibility.

My friend told me that she might be able to give me a car, considering that she still has her old one, and all it needs is a transmission. She said that she would talk to her husband and see if he would put up the money to get it fixed. Then, she would be able to turn the car over into my name and help me get insured. If her husband wanted the money back, then I could set up a payment plan and pay him accordingly.

I also quit the debate team in order to be able to work more hours. So far, I have 30 hours at the office. I thought about the possibility of getting another job on the weekends in order to pay for some of my upcoming expenses. As the days go by, that prospect seems more and more unavoidable. If I can get this place with the girl that placed the ad on campus, and settle my situation with transportation, then I might be set.

Okay, now what?

Email your comments for The Iranian letters section
Send an email to Lilly Benevis

By Lilly Benevis

Mom & marriage
Coincidentally my parents AND Soheil are the people who bring me the most strife


What do you want?
My desire is to have peace from my family
By Yasaman Rohani


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