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Part 28
New York, Friday April 16

6:28 p.m.
Superstition is part of Iranian culture. Even if you claim to be a disbeliever. Even if you are a proclaimed rationalist / Darwinian/ Cartesian/ Atheist whatever you want to call yourself. When you hear someone tell you good news about their kid, you automatically say:Essfand dood kon, cheshmess nazanan! When a lady enters the elevator pushing a cute baby in a stroller, you automatically knock on wood.

When you go on a trip, you have your grandfather say a prayer for you and walk "under the Koran. When your grandmother gives you a gift of a silver brooch with a turquoise stone in the shape of the "evil eye", you put it under your mattress and sleep peacefully. When someone talks of a beloved's hypothetical death, you exclaim:KhodA Nakoneh! and bite the space on your hand between your thumb and your index finger. One of the most infamous superstitions in which I believe firmly in is that of "ghadameh shour".

I immediately become suspicious of persons who seem to bring bad luck with them wherever they go. I know on a rational level the poor saps can,t help it, that it, a coincidence. And if anyone confronts me wit my pagan beliefs, I will always deny them as vehemently as Agent Scully reprimanding Agent Fox for one of his far-fetched alien conspiracy theories. But I will nevertheless remain superstitious.

When Peerooz came so unexpectedly yesterday, it did not really bother me but it did make me worry about his "ghadameh shour". This is why I breached all notions of Iranian hospitality and didn't invite him into the house. Also the reason I tried to get him out of here as soon as I could. The last thing we needed right now, what with my father's condition, was more bad luck falling on our house.

Unfortunately, my efforts proved fruitless. Today bAbA underwent a physical exam to pinpoint the progress in his cancer and the effects of the radiation treatment. When Dr. Flaherty called us to the hospital again, I just knew in the pit of my stomach that this was bad news.

The radiation treatment has not been able to eradicate the cancerous growth in my father's chest. Monday we have to start chemotherapy.

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By Nazanin

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