Got lost in Oakland with lavender in my pocket


by Monda

In a chilly fog at 3:20 am I met Addison as I was lost in a seedy neighborhood of Oakland.

Driving home from work as I like it, a favorite drum piece came on. Thoughts followed by images and even dreams of those images. What if there was a cure for little Rose's trauma, my mind felt heavy. The frightened look in her big hazel eyes when the wild looking stepdad signed her off from the ward. The bitter irony of him being allowed to "release" the bruised girl, on and on... I don't exactly know how within not a long distance between work and home, I ended up in that part of Oakland. But I did. Especially when I realized how low on gas I was. No way I could make it to the other side of the bridge, I decided. So passing through a moment of panic, I shook myself into a different reality. I was possibly stranded in a very cold dark spot. Suddenly I felt how badly I needed an open gas station, at least one that took ATM cards.

After desperately driving what seemed to be a main highway, I saw a 7Eleven. What Relief. At least he will tell me how to reach a gas station. About 1-1/2 miles after two turns? Not bad. So I celebrated my relief by buying a pack of pistachios and a bazooka gum. Thanked the helpful black puffy eyes behind the counter as I walked out to my car.

I heard his deep voice before I saw his eyes. "gimme yo fuckin moneyt!"

My heart stopped! The words came out nonetheless... Can't do that, I said... you see man, I got no money or gas.

"whaa?! you fuckin moran or what?! gimme the car keys!", sounding almost nothing close to his 6'4" of lean muscle covered by the shiny orange Oakland A's jacket.

I found his eyes. That gave me the courage to be alert to his needs. At that moment?

Black beauty, some trace of Asperger's and alchohol?

Listen, I said, can we sit down on this curb for a sec? I just got off work, got no gas, it's freezing out here and you're threatening me? For What?! Besides, what are You doing so late out here? Don't you have a girlfriend or someone to go to in this cold fog? Hmmm, wait here, need to grab my coat out of my car, Ok?...

Fuck No!, he screeched. Zipped down his jacket to flash the shiny black gun. This was my second time facing a gun so up close. It looked real. Were my frightened eyes to him? Can the man inside the store see me? Would he even care if another stupid soul out there is being mugged?

No time for judgmental inquiries.

Listen man, my name's Monda, I'm tired and freezing out here, don't be surprised if I threw up on you alright?... what's your name? A car passed by. He totally jerked around, who that? I have an idea, I said.

By the way my name is Monda, what's yours? He didn't reach for that gun, just stared at me, Without really seeing me. His pupils were moving side to side, in that dark, with the faint store neon sign I checked him out more closely. "What kinda name is that?"

Iranian, he didn't get me ... What's yours? Ok don't tell me, I need my coat out of the car.

"Gimme the car keys bitch".

C'mon man don't call me a bitch, please? My name is Monda. I need my coat out of the car. I have 6 bucks in my back pocket and some pistachios. When was the last time you had food? You must be thirsty and hungry, right? Can we sit down right here? When I get scared I throw up, do you understand?

I sat down on the curb, facing the street to the right of the store. C'mon man sit down, I can't look up, you're so tall.

The probability of conveying to him my need for the coat was non-existent.

Do you like pistachios? You're not allergic to nuts are you? My shaking words were directed by the steam, out of my mouth. I really think you should eat something. I can feel what's happening to you right now. Why would you mix speed with alcohol man?

He was still fidgeting in place, scanning the road. He had not spoken a word to me for a couple of minutes. Clear sign of trust. If he knew it. There was no way I would risk losing his trust, by questioning it, no matter how silently.

I had to stick my numb hands in the front pockets. Which only then I realized I still had some lavender flowers on me.

Listen, have you ever had lavender?


Wanna smell some?


Getting up, I offered him my right palm with the lavenders from my back yard.

(to be continued, maybe)


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I'm afraid not, just a code for calm.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Thanks for this exciting story

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

By the way, is lavender code for heat?

Bad Stories for Bad Kids


G. Rahmanian

by Monda on

wasn't sure if you meant it : )

G. Rahmanian


by G. Rahmanian on

I know. That was supposed to be a joke. I guess it wasn't funny!

Esfand Aashena

BTW Monda jaan you said this was the second time

by Esfand Aashena on

When was the first time "facing the gun"?  Maybe in the second episode to this blog you can write about that too. 

Everything is sacred


Nazy, Mash Ghassem, G. Rahmanian

by Monda on

Nazy: All sides of me emerges in a critical situation. It's a blessing and a curse. Honestly, only those who I really trust experience me in my genuine vulnerabilities. With strangers, especially the threatening ones like this fellow, my healer side surely takes charge. Although my other sides observe the situation. Ghorbonet be well and alert, we need you : )

Mash Ghasem, I haven't heard of Morrison but it sounds like mine was a reversed scenario where the woman was on the offering side.

G. Rahmanian, I'm here writing this, ain't I? : ) 

G. Rahmanian

A Nice Start, Monda!

by G. Rahmanian on

I'll have to wait and see if you have survived to write my full comment.

Mash Ghasem

great ending

by Mash Ghasem on

not sure why, but it reminded me of Tony Morrison's "Beloved," the part that the old woman asks for lavender.

Nazy Kaviani

Baba, suspense mano kosht!

by Nazy Kaviani on

Oh My God, Monda! How scary! I was really frightened by a taxi driver in Istanbul one time, and to this day I have not completely recovered from the fear I was feeling at that time.

I am curious to know whether you were talking to him as yourself or as a professional? I mean were you using a technique for approaching him, or was this all gut-level reaction to a scary situation? Whatever it was, you did it well, as it obviously put you out of the harm's way. Pheeeww! Just reading it was scary!


MM, Tissa and Esfand

by Monda on

MM, you have a tendency to crack me up, not only with your submitted jokes.

Tissa, no freakier than telling jokes in the dark to unknown people around the continent, did I say in the dark? and hear them laugh like crazies with you! You get the callin factor, I'm sure.

Esfand, thank you for your comment. Do consider writing your trauma. I'd look forward to reading it. 


COP, Brave and Trained

by Monda on

I wasn't reasoning. I simply had no choice but look for his human side. I call it self-survival instinct. Yes Iranian women can be very ballsy when needed : ))



by tissa on


Esfand Aashena

Monda jaan holy crap!

by Esfand Aashena on

I've never been mugged before but many years ago after going to a club one night when I was totally drunk, straddling, stumbling and "walking" towards our car this other drunk on the street corner came towards me and said stop!  Sort of like one teriyaki asking another teriyaki to shhtop!

I couldn't sshtop so I was moving around and he got a hold of me and went through my pockets and took away some change and few dollar bills and then he padded me on the back and sent me on my way!  I didn't have the enerJy to prevent him from going through my pockets!

I think as we get older we become more vulnerable and harder for us to know what to do at moments like this.  Perhaps the cold guided you to make the right decisions and say the right things.   

Everything is sacred


Monda - I think the cold has affected the blood in your veins

by MM on

good composure, but I hope there is no marriage at the end of the tunnel!



by Cost-of-Progress on

is what I'd say!

You actually tried to reason with a thug with a gun demanding to take your car at 3 in the morning. I was gonna say you have balls, but thought better of it!





Esfand jaan

by Monda on

Yes, as Real as they come.


Hadi jan

by Monda on

Thank you seriously.

hadi khojinian

Monda Jan

by hadi khojinian on

Just perfect my darling

Esfand Aashena

So Monda jaan is this real?

by Esfand Aashena on

Everything is sacred


didani jan

by Monda on

Observing friends' experiences with hybrids, I was so tempted to get me one. But I remembered my state of mind during the times I had followed a hybrid on the freeway, I thought nahh. Need more control/oomph out of a car. Go figure : )


JJ, Azadeh, Ari, Faramarz

by Monda on

JJ: I find there are more significant moments of truth in life. I am aware of them daily. But yes I seem to have handled this one alright. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Azadeh: It means a great deal to me that you like my writing style. Cheers!

Ari: I hear you bro... someone like Addison can never threaten me as deeply as the ideological thugs that we read about in our motherland and elsewhere.

Faramarz: I hope someone (you?) gets busy compiling your comments on this site. They're just precious : ) 


Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice!

by Faramarz on


Be careful when you are on the wrong side of the tracks!

You are lucky to be able to make eye contact and have a conversation. They prey on the vulnerable.

I can’t wait till I read the rest!


Monda jan, I'm in awe of your calm under the situation

by didani on

The guy picked the wrong bate, it sounds like you were more in control than him ... I experienced an empty tank about two weeks ago, my hybrid let me drive 15 miles on battery to the nearest gas station. Will not let this ever happen again, I hope you would too!

Ari Siletz

waiting for the rest before reacting

by Ari Siletz on

But I have a short fuse these days for armed thugs,under orders or on their own, threatening folks who mean them no harm. 

Azadeh Azad

I love your writing style

by Azadeh Azad on

The scene is so vivid. I would recognise this guy if I see him :-). You write so well. Can't wait for the rest.



Jahanshah Javid

Moment of truth

by Jahanshah Javid on

Nothing gets your attention more than the prospect of imminent death. And you handled yourself with great poise.


Your encouragement means a lot to me

by Monda on

Ebi jaan: Looking back it wasn't really that chilling. He was a human like many. I'll try to explain my point in the next segment. 

maziar 58: I will send in the rest as soon as the rest of this experience is fully processed. I'd love to write it for you.

Dear JD: I truly appreciate your feedback. My aim was to be done with this experience, at least on some level. So the more detail I allow myself to recall, the easier I go about my daily life. It took me weeks to be able to gather this bit out of my memory.


Jeesh Daram


by Jeesh Daram on

it was great to visualize the scene as it progressed. Fine job.

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

please send the rest

love to know the end of it.


ebi amirhosseini


by ebi amirhosseini on

Chilling!! WoW.

"Close encounter from ? kind" !!!

Ebi aka Haaji