George Willoughby

I must say being asked out by a sixty-some year old gentleman was not exactly what I had in mind


George Willoughby
by Flying Solo

In the late summer of year 1993, I developed a peculiar fascination for the subject of Anthropology. I decided to enroll in an evening course called “Birth of Civilization”. Every Thursday evening from September of that year until the March of the following, saw me traipsing to one of the lecture halls in Magdalene College where I, alongside with forty or so other students, were given lectures on all things Mesopotamian. The average age of the students hovered around 70. Being a smidge or two below 33, and of Persian origin, made me a fascinating oddity. Suffice it to say that amidst the British septa- and octogenarian male population which constituted the majority of the attendees, there didn’t appear to be anything more exotic than a youngish Iranian female who would rather study cuneiform than chase some Oxford don. I had many admirers.

The teacher was a fascinating character who could bring alive the otherwise complex and rather dull subject, simply by the inflection in his voice. I fell in love with him and thus the Thursday evening classes became not only an exercise in learning but also of scheming as to how to ‘land’ this man. I learnt from him about Chogha Zanbil, Shush and Haft-Tapeh and their significance in the history of the region. I learnt that Persians were the first to tame wheat and horses alike. Quickly I became aware of my ‘value’ in his eyes in that I was in fact a Persian and represented the origin of civility. This unique brand of egotism lent further to my reverie about how things will one day be between me and the Professor. I imagined us venturing on exploratory trips to Iran as I would translate for both of us – never mind that he spoke better Persian than I, and knew the country like the back of his hand. Still, dreams are delicious and in them I spoke eloquent Persian as I bestowed the homeland with my presence and that of my perfectly polished English husband. In the state of delirium, reserved for females whose biological clocks are ticking a little too loudly, my wild imagination took a giant leap into the world of the arts as I envisaged my intended and I featured in several respectable publications on all matters thus relevant, while a brood of chubby cheeked cherubs completed the picture of familial bliss.

I was smitten – there was no denying it. Towards the latter part of 1993 two things became clear; studying Anthropology was hard work and my teacher was already married. The former gave me grief while the latter shattered hopes of nuptial union. Instantly the romance with this rather archaic academic subject was over. Alas the course was paid for in full and I felt obligated to make good the money I had parted with.

Heartbroken dejected lovers would do well to seek substitute therapy. And for me who had to come to terms with the Professor’s inconvenient marital status, there seemed to be no better salve than romance novels and alternate male company. The latter was proving to be hard to come by as I found myself at that ‘dodgy’ age of not being quite young enough to hold the attraction of the eligible bachelors in Oxford, and yet not old enough to be a candidate for the second time marry-go-rounders. With my head up in the sky half the time, I hardly considered myself, nor was considered by others, suitable step-mother material - something that almost every man I ran into was looking to secure in a new amour. Spinsterhood stared me in the face and what calamity that promised to be.

Not one to succumb to fate, I threw myself into the world of food – specifically that of preparing Persian sweets. Therefore, every Thursday evening saw me carrying a platter of my most recent culinary creation to the Anthropology class. It was my way of giving the Professor the ‘cold shoulder’. On the plus side, my admirers became vocal in their appreciation. Not only was I treated to longing gazes, but I started to receive nuggets of appreciation also.

Among the elderly populace, there was a gentleman – who by all accounts was the youngest of the bunch. I guessed him to be on the safe side of 65. He was of medium height, well built though not slim. He sported a full head of hair – mostly brown, sprinkled with grey unruly curls. An aquiline nose atop pencil thin lips afforded him the aristocratic appearance prevalent among the British gentry. The somberness of these features was broken by a pair of sparkly blue eyes which danced with joy every time a smile snuck up on his face – thus giving him an impish look of a mischievous English school boy. His face combined the old and the new and in this mixture afforded the observer a glimpse of a man, who was, if not half, but certainly three-quarters of his chronological age. He would arrive at each class impeccably attired; well-pressed gabardine trousers, a crisp cotton dress shirt adorned with a tasteful, yet, conservative tie. The tweed jacket with brown suede patches on the elbows was the final touch to an otherwise casually graceful look. He smelled faintly of rosemary and myrrh with a touch of cedar which betrayed the lining of his closet. He had the loveliest accent – a mixture of north and south – the r’s rolling, ever so slightly, just like the Cotswold Hills, giving his speech a sonorous ring above the guttural tone. A dusting of poverty enwrapped true nobility which, together with a dollop of humility, perfected the image – the English gentleman. His name was George Willoughby.

My friendship with Mr. Willoughby started after the tasting of one of my creations which had proven to be especially scrumptious. This clearly was the cue he required to offer a gracious compliment. After the pleasantries he approached the delicate subject of asking me for a date. “Lady Solo, I was wondering the other day, to myself, whether, by any stroke of luck, you may be interested in an outing of sorts. I say, might I have the pleasure of your company on Sunday next? I should very much like to take you for a drive through the country to a delightful little tea room which my late wife and I used to frequent. It would be awfully good of you to join me.” Well, I was flattered, surprised and pleased at the same time. I must say being asked out by a sixty-some year old gentleman when I had not even celebrated my 35th birthday was not exactly what I had in mind when I had prayed to the Almighty for male company. But then I quickly remembered that since I had not specified the age in my prayers, the good Lord had sent me the most likely and available candidate. I needed to be grateful and of course I was. “Mr. Willoughby. The pleasure is all mine. Pray Sir, when and where shall we meet?” “My dear Madam. What could you possibly mean? For of course, I shall pick you up from your home – that is if you would afford me your address.” This was something out of a dusty English novel. I had to chuckle. The man was worried about asking for my address. He was going to pick me up. I was not just told to meet him at some pub where he would chug back beer and throw darts with the lads while I sipped my G&T. I was thrilled, utterly taken by this magnificent display of manners and charm.

And so it was that the following Sunday and several Sundays after, Mr. Willoughby would arrive at my maisonette off Headington Road, get out of his chauffeur driven automobile, ring the bell, present me with a small gift – a posy or a small box of truffles - before taking me on an outing, here, there and everywhere.

They say the best teacher is time spent with an older person – listening. Mr. Willoughby had much to say and of course I had much to learn. It was he who took me for my first guided tour of the Oxford colleges, describing to me the historic significance of each building. He treated me to a particularly memorable visit to Blenheim Palace – a place which I had avoided due to its behemoth appearance. We took long drives down narrow country lanes to small tea rooms and cozy inns tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the English countryside. He reacquainted me with the world of small wonders – the single daisy peeking out of a split rock, a narrow creek dripping its goods into a tiny moss-covered pool, a robin teetering on a twig, the sway of a willow tree, the smell of rain, dusk on a clear day. All these wonders existed in the world before Mr. Willoughby entered mine but with him pointing them out they took on more significance and certainly were cherished anew.

My education did not stop at architecture and wonders of nature. As our relationship progressed Mr. Willoughby, whom I had secretly taken to calling Georgie - to myself of course, felt bold enough to invite me to go up to London with him to visit a gallery or two. And so it was that we ventured outside of what Oxford had to offer an ill-suited pair to the anonymity and diversity of the big city.

I had never heard nor seen the Rosetta Stone. The Middle East Section of the British Museum was a mystery to me. The Tate was just a name. All of these Mr. Willoughby brought alive for me with patient guidance, articulate discourse and just enough dry humor to render the subject matter entertaining. I was mesmerized by all this information; in awe of a man who knew so much – one who could be spending his time in much more productive affairs and yet took pains to explain, educate and share with me the arts and treasures of the Capital. He was the perfect teacher.

He conducted these outings with the utmost consideration. Never a harsh word passed his lips even when he caught me hiding a yawn through one of his particularly detailed lectures on a portrait or a painting. He was the most attentive companion, always asking after my well being, making sure that I was well rested, adequately fed and had enough tea - always tea. He never engaged in an untoward gesture, nor a mean word did he ever utter. His manners were simply above reproach. We enjoyed each other’s company – tremendously. I found in him the father I never had and he in me, I assumed, the daughter he always wanted.

The relationship became closer as we shared history and beliefs; opinions and memories and thus a bond was forged upon which we relied for comfort and companionship. The fascination remained firmly in the intellect – for me his diverse knowledge, and for him, the exotic nature of my origin - my unconventional upbringing – my accent. We had one passion in common also and that was love of poetry. In time he shared with me the wonders of Blake, Chaucer and Keats and I returned the favor with Khayyam, Khayyam and more Khayyam. There was an additional shared interest – music - though we differed considerably in our tastes. His veered towards choral and church music for he was a pious man, and mine more toward anything but. Still he was a good sport about it and would patiently subject himself to renditions of Genesis, David Bowie and ZZ Top.

It was towards the end of March when Mr. Willoughby called to invite me out for the evening. “There is a concert I should like to take you to, my dear Solo. It is a bit of a surprise I have cooked up you see. Shall I pick you up at 5?” I liked surprises and of course I was going to be ready for our rendezvous. We ventured to the local concert hall whereupon Mr. Willoughby asked me to close my eyes on the way in and only open them when I was seated in the box. To my utter delight I found out that I was at a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. I had told him about the “Thousand and One Night Stories” and the classical piece by the Russian composer. He knew this to be one of my most favorite pieces. It touched me so to learn that he had gone through the trouble of making this such a special event. The evening progressed smoothly as we left the concert hall for the warmth of a charming Country Inn for a late supper.

At the dinner table, I sensed Mr. Willoughby’s anxiety but could not quite understand why this should be. He was not himself. He was avoiding eye contact, playing with his napkin and making silly sounds opening and closing his mouth. I chalked it down to ecstasy from the concert. Classical music can have the most profound effect on the psyche, I figured. Once coffee arrived, Mr. Willoughby cleared his throat, summoning my attention to himself. I felt uneasy and was convinced that he was going to give me some very bad news. Perhaps he was taken ill or something may have happened to the son who was stationed overseas, or, heaven-forbid, the grandchildren. “Is everything all right?” I asked. He nodded sheepishly, his head bowed over the demitasse. “Solo Darling, I am afraid I am not very good at this sort of thing. My late wife did all the leg work in our 40 year marriage you see and I was fortunate never to have to make speeches or decisions. But there you have it, she is gone and I am lost for words. This probably sounds awfully clumsy and gauche. An old man such as I, feeling the way I do, about a blossom such as you. “I was getting the gist of where this conversation was going and I was suitably alarmed. I was desperately resisting a deep blush concentrating instead on the fine stitches of the napkin on my lap, the creases on my hand and, by now my parched mouth. Mr. Willoughby continued with his monologue as my heart continued to pound against my rib cage waiting for the guillotine to drop. I willed myself to remain still, to hear him out to the end and NOT to jump to conclusions – prematurely. He reached into his pocket and extracted from it a small box, which, to my horror, I found, as he popped it open, contained a magnificent antique diamond ring. He continued: “So it is with this one single ardent request that I ask for your hand in marriage. Do please accept and make me the happiest man alive.”

My immediate reaction was silence as I willed to slow down my heartbeat and my hands from shaking, trying ever so carefully to take in exactly what had just occurred. It so appeared, without a doubt, that I had been proposed to by a gentleman twice my age. On all accounts I should have been appalled. The cheek of it – an old man – having lived the best part of his life doing all sorts of things that men do - and now coming full circle – to a woman, who, while no blossom, still had never been married, was childless, exotic and by all accounts well-accomplished – proposing marriage. What could he possibly be thinking? Given all the facts that I was painfully aware of – I still failed to be offended by the offer. I was merely saddened – nay, disappointed, not because he was old but because I was young. I did not consider Mr. Willoughby rude, audacious or insolent. The only transgression was his chronological age which loomed so far beyond mine so as to make the potential union comical.

It is my firm belief that proposals to marriage must be responded to on the spot. As such there is nothing quite as insensitive as dithering, or worse still suggesting the taking of a ‘rain-check’. The answer must be simply a yes or a no. In the case of the former sheer delight, tears, laughter and a hug are in order – and in the case of the latter - a polite, thoughtful and kind explanation is a must. I needed to stay true and admittedly, as much as I was flattered by Mr. Willoughby’s proposal, there was no way on God’s green earth – not for all the tea in China - that I could accept. Now in order to deliver the response I required gentle words of diplomacy, compassion and understanding.

The truth was far too harsh I concluded. I could not bring myself to confess that I considered him more of a father than a husband-to-be. Honesty stings – and I cared for this man – deeply. So I sought solace in a lie - a very big white lie, one that had enough possibility of truth in it so as to render it believable. I decided to tell Mr. Willoughby about my culture and its rites of passage into marriage. I told him about how girls were ‘promised’ to suitors before puberty and sometimes even soon after birth. I told him that families were indeed in charge of young love – the kind of love that joined fortunes and yielded offspring to pass it on to. I told him that at birth I had been betrothed to a second cousin-twice-removed. He was studying in America and once he completed his education, he was to marry me. I told him that I had never laid eyes on this cousin because it was against my family tradition but that he and I had our destinies tied. Therefore, I related to him in the calmest, warmest manner possible, that while I was honored by his proposal, alas I was not free to entertain it, for I was, most definitely and undeniably, spoken for.

The drive back to my home was conducted in silence. Indeed what is there to say when two souls which have touched each other so intimately are separated not by mere distance, culture or religion but by age? In my desperation to wrap my mind around the cruelty of it all I willed myself to age twenty or so years. Oh would that I miraculously turn 55 in a blink of an eye and accept this man’s love and to return that love for the rest of my days? We arrived at destination and as it was always his habit, Mr. Willoughby got out of the vehicle, walked over to my side, opened the door to allow me to get out. Our hands had not touched until that night. He escorted me to the door, turned and faced me for a moment. In the glow of the orange street lamp, I caught a glimpse of the 35 year old man I knew he once had been and wished that he were, right then. If only he could have left three decades at the doorstep, then he could have secured the rite of passage into my living room. Alas, life is cruel and fate a jest. He reached for my right hand, lifted it to his face, just as he held my gaze and placed one light kiss on top of the middle knuckle – holding the gaze still as he lowered my hand and let go. He turned on his heel and left.

I never saw him again.

In the latter part of year 1994 my life took many turns – none planned and all a surprise. It seemed, in the face of the huge lie I had delivered to Mr. Willoughby, the Almighty was determined to make an honest woman out of me and, in doing so, assure my pardon and ease my conscience. In the middle of a cold November night I received a call from a stranger, who introduced himself as a distant relative from the paternal side of the family. He related to me that he had just returned from the homeland and since his flight was cancelled, he was stuck in London. One thing led to another. Before I knew it he bolted into my life, ransacked my heart and turned everything topsy-turvy. Within a span of a few months he whisked me away from my beloved England to his America. In a flash I went from a vagabond to a safely secured wife in a respectable brownstone a mere stone’s throw from Central Park, baking Persian delicacies for the local elegant Iranian ladies, sipping tea from crystal tumblers slightly bigger than thimbles. With the arrival of the first baby, life moved into a new phase of joy, mayhem and sleepless nights. Thoughts of George Willoughby faded slowly at first, and then at break neck speed once the family expanded. My May-December romance became a distant memory well before the twins were out of diapers.

And then

The doorbell rang. It was the postman delivering a package for which I had to provide a signature. The British stamp on the top right hand corner betrayed the origin of the parcel. I was intrigued.

I opened the parcel to find the following cover letter from Willis & Willis, Chancery Lane, London WC1.

Dear Madam Solo,

We hereby wish to inform you of the passing of one of our most treasured and beloved clients, Mr. George Willoughby. Mr. Willoughby appointed this office for the execution of his will. In said document we noted a gift which he bequeathed to you. With the advent of the Internet and world-wide searches one of our colleagues was able to finally locate your current whereabouts. It is therefore our pleasure to forward to you the item which has been in our care for the past 10 years. We regret the tardy delivery but feel fortunate to complete our client’s wishes.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address.

Yours etc.

James Willis, Esq.

My hands were trembling as I opened the article wrapped in a handkerchief, which smelled faintly of rosemary and myrrh, with a touch of cedar. Inside I found Mr. Willoughby’s dog-eared second edition Fitzgerald translation of Khayyam’s Quatrains. There was a sealed note tucked into a page whose many creases and folds spoke of frequent viewings.

I opened the note to reveal Mr. Willoughby’s handwriting. I could barely see the words of the quatrain as they started swimming in the tears which, by now, were falling from my eyes.

Ah, Love! Could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits--and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

“Sweet Solo, In the winter of life, you were my ray of sunshine, so thank you.” Affectionately, G

I wept for that unrequited love – a love so untainted and yet so impossible. On that day, I came to humbly accept that truly in the matters of the heart, age is but a number.

* George Willoughby is a fictitious character. Any resemblance to a person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


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more from Flying Solo


by Omid B on

Impossible how good that is, Solo. I feel like I've been hit by a truck filled with your wonderful thoughts and words. And it hurt.





that fitzgerald poem has

by Anonymously on

that fitzgerald poem has special significance for me too! aren't all true great loves like a ray of sunshine... here now and 'like the morning dew, gone'. great piece.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on


Ari Siletz

Poor Willoughby!

by Ari Siletz on

He should have listend to Hafez instead of that rascal Khayyam:    ای که در  کوچه معشوقه ما میگذری
بر حذر باش که سر میشکند دیوارش




very well written

by friday (not verified) on

Is this really fiction or is it based on some truth?
Either way it is very well written.
But if it is fiction why use Solo as the 'fair maiden's name' ? (yes I know she is in her 30's)
This confuses people.
-"Part of the story" you may say...
But it brings about some of the comments you see here, instead of the reader paying more attention to the content.
If reality... well, then that's another story....

Maryam Hojjat

Beautiful & sad story

by Maryam Hojjat on

Solo, you write beautifully.  I enjoyed your story and I admit we can not change reality.



by Incognito (not verified) on

Dear Flying,

I was also deeply impressed by your exquisite style of story telling. So, please don’t read what follows, or if you do, don’t take it personally. I am barking at the wrong tree.

After reading some of the comments entailing your post, as it happens quite often to some of the frequent fliers on this cyberspaceship, the cynical side of me was arisen. It dawned on me that you are trying to exorcise the Union Jack from a sexagenarian orientalist – of Chogha Zanbil, Shush and Haft-Tapeh notoriety – who instinctively falls for a Middle-Eastern spinster who happens to have a pair of eyes as dark as the crude oil. A combination of a chauffeured limousine, small tearooms and cozy inns in the countryside, and Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade does the magic.

I was quite relieved when I read that your distant relative prince showed up at your door one day and took you to the land of the free and the home of the brave. At least you no longer had to face with the aristocratic gentry with a smell of rosemary and myrrh with a touch of cedar. Chubby-cheeked cherubs’ smell of diaper does magic as well. (BTW, it will take another 400 years for the neo-orientalists to learn the etiquette and eloquence of their mentors.)

Let’s face it, Flying. The cheap chap left you only a Khayyam quatrain (zeereh be Kerman). Not even that antique diamond ring. Let’s be thankful, though. He could have sent you a picture of Chogha Zanbil.

(Oh Lord, forgive me for all these nonsense.)

hadi khojinian

مرسی خانم

hadi khojinian

استفاده درست و بهینه از کلمات و متن خوب .ممنون


I know nobody asked for my advice

by visiting writer (not verified) on

but Ms. Solo, your writing is entirely too long and wordy. Number one rule of writing well: cut, cut, cut. Don't get attached to your own cleverness nor, God forbid, to adjectives and other descriptions or intellectualizations. This is especially true if your writing will be read on a screen.

You know how I read your writing? I jump from paragraph to paragraph and skim for words that are key for narrative progression. Then I'm done with the piece. You don't want people (especially serious readers) to read your writing like this.


its about TPL, PTL and RTL...

by Miny (not verified) on

Guess what.. its also called as Time-pass love (TPL) which leaves some withdrawal symptoms or a part-time love (PTL) thing...they can have serious consequences TPL and PTL can lead to RTL (Real time love)..then tears follow....then a person is like a runaway child..hostage to ones whims fancies desires and dearths..and witness is ones waking conscious sane mind....but like tears..they are original for one ends up shedding original tears for aboriginal love....

"Since trifles make the sum of human things, and half of our misery from our foibles springs"- H More...

there are other theories too to such stories...hahaha..but age should bring some kind of sense with it....if it does not then i agree it is just a number...


Hey Solo...i dont know...what you think?

by Miny (not verified) on

i somewhat go by analysis of "Another heartbreaker"..though there may be very few instances where its just love..dont you think so...yeah George was just trying a chance if it worked...and he was stuck in it for lifetime coz his remaining life was little or else he would have enjoyed some more sunrays in his winter....and the girl in question was calculative...make hay while the sun shines.....and that to find him like a father was to keep herself from feeling guilty of an indulgence which was not practical..lying to think the best thing in such situations is to let the things be...and not to name is love....what unrequitted and why to see a father in a man you are somewhat attracted to....actually once you start something emotional it builds on...and one starts it when one does not have an alternative...people cannot be substituted but everybody can find a replacement...."I found in him the father I never had and he in me, I assumed, the daughter he always wanted." does not fit in the story...a calculative women and at 33 cant be so naive to find a father in somebody who takes her to show around...and that penchant for white green eyes...these also are love built on some interests and not just simple attraction maybe...not a very touching story but meaningful to me only in a way it tells that humans need so many things to sustain appreciation company....that humans are so vulnerable...the strongest youngest oldest toughest intelligent foolish wise all are...


JJ Pleeeeeeeeease!

by factfinder (not verified) on

You don't need to protect your friends this way (rather clumsy of you). The more you insist on it being fiction, the more it sounds like real. This story if not been exprienced by the writer herself, must have been inspired her through a third party.

Jahanshah Javid

Real writer

by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks Princess for reminding readers that this is a work of fiction. Many seem to have taken it literally. This of course may be largely due to Solo's superb writing: she made it feel real.


another beautiful...

by Princess on

piece of fiction! This story is not about age gaps and social norms, but simply about an unrequited love, because as you put it in the end "age is but a number", or as I might have put it, love knows no numbers.

As I have mentioned before, I enjoy your writing because of your acute sense of observation and your eloquence in describing what you observe. However, while your female characters tend to come across as extremely intelligent, they also seem very calculating individuals. In this story, for example, the way I see it Solo is "playing along" and is enjoying herself for the attention she is getting at the cost of George's feelings.

Some might say George is a mature man and should know what he is getting himself into, but that is not what I am getting at. I would like to challenge you to develop an intelligent female character that actually falls in love, rather than beats about the bush analyzing it. :)

Thanks again and look forward to your next piece. 


Sounds familiar

by Another heartbreaker (not verified) on

There is a clear attraction between the middle aged to old Anglo-American men and thirthy something and upward Iranian women. Usually it is based on a repressed lust, which gets rekindled at the first meeting on the part of the man and a curious, reckless sense of adventure on the part of the Iranian woman - most dark and olive-skinned Iranian women have a huge soft spot for the fair, blue-eyed Western men - and vice versa. To the Western man, it is exotic to have a (second) wife and to the Iranian woman, it is posh to be escorted by, if not betrothed to, a blond and blue-eyed man.

But here, seems like an adventurous fling gone out of hand. For you it was happy-go-luck foray into the unknown and for the poor George it was one last shot in the dark, helped by your encouraging signals.

Well, the rest as they say, is history.


Were you in London Nov. 2006?

by Anonymous watcher (not verified) on


Unattainable love

by Mitra -- (not verified) on

Beautifully written!

I could see the two of you in the places you described and see his sparkilng blue eyes smiling at you...
That is how well you have narrated the happenings.
It reminded me of my boarding school days back in the day in England.

Unattainable love at any age brings about suffering and wretchedness, but as we progress in years I believe it can take on a different significance.
Your tried to let him down as gently as possible,
and quite possibly, deep inside, he also suspected the unfeasibility of this May-December union.

I shed tears.

default comments and

by Miny (not verified) on comments and worth contemplation...yeah nobody can create or feign emotions and non-admittance is never a sign of non-existence but sometimes we can lead or mislead ourselves to feel something coz we need to feel that and then the thing grows but if the thought and feel grows on its own...who knows anything or whatever....i mean if intent and instinct cross or much...

Story is very meaningful...soulful...about humans...i enjoyed reading it...Great as ever!

Azadeh Azad

This one is your best, dear Flying Solo

by Azadeh Azad on

And your writing style is exceptionally fresh, beautiful, engaging and reflective. I wish I could write like you :-)   Yes, you have inspired me to try prose for a while. Thank you for this and for the gift of love, tenderness and insight interwoven.




Very Touching

by Feshangi on

and a very sad story.

I am always amazed at how the human mind and feelings stay young and tender, no matter how old and scaly our exterior becomes. This must have been purposefully arranged by the creator himself, entirely for his own amusement.


Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

I'm sitting in the empty lobby of a hotel, crying.

Nazy Kaviani

Beautiful and sad

by Nazy Kaviani on

Aaahhh, what a beautiful story, Solo! Since I fully understand the practicalities of life, why did it make me so sad? I have several friends among the older gentlemen who are emeritus faculty of the university in which I work. We get together for lunches and drinks occasionally, and I always spot and enjoy the joy of life that sits bold and energetic in those men's demeanor and thinking, defying their physical appearances caused by age. I know of so many 50 year-old men now who are a lot older in spirit and thinking than those gentlemen.

It is just a number, Solo, yet it is one of the unfortunate indices used for evaluating people's potentials in all matters, and I am aware of its unfairness only as my own number increases.

Good going, good writing, and thanks for the tears. They were necessary.