25 December 2002 Finally Christmas had arrived and I had no classes, which was just fine by me. Valerie had made plans with her boyfriend to spend Christmas in England, so I had the house all to myself. For 2 and a half years Valerie and I were living together in this 2 bedroom gallery appartment on the 4th floor in downtown Amsterdam. We both had a room and a shared kitchen and bathroom.
Before the whole Omid dilemma, I used to work in the weekends beside study. I had a good income. But after I met Omid I got fired because of my tardiness. So now I had no extra income and I was becoming a chat freak more and more — a broke chatfreak…
My mom tried to talk some sense into me. She tried really hard, but I couldn't tell her what was going on. The fact was that I had forgotten how to communicate in real life. Everything had become chatting and online friends.
I began losing friends in real life. Every time my friends called and invited me out, I had an excuse ready… I had to study… . But the truth was, I hadn't been to class ever since I came back from Sweden! Chat was taking over my life, but I was still in deniel. I had twisted the truth so that I wouldn't feel quilty.
Christmas day I spend alone. Every one had fun and went out. Omid had left for Shahram's place and Negin was at her own Christmas party. That night I spend watching my collection of Friends videos, the only thing which could make me leave my computer, this and Charmed of course! So all night I watched episodes of Friends and like a vampire I fell asleep at the crack of dawn.
I had just slept for 2 hours when the phone started ringing. I tried to ignore it but they didn't give up. It was Negin, she was totally drunk.
“Hey Awiiii, I justttttt came huuuuume, khuuuuuuffffi?”
“Neg, I was asleep. Are you crazy calling me at this hour?”
“Yeah yeah Merry Christmas to you too. Now let me sleep.”
“NOOOO Awiii, I have gottt to tell uuuu shhhhomething.”
“I vuv uu…”
“Yeah I vuv you too, now byebye.”
After talking to Negin I just couldn't sleep anymore. I started to think about my life. Feeling all bad for myself, I put on some music, while talking and swearing back to myself. I started cleaning up my room.
Awi, what happened to your life? What are you transforming into? Khaak bar saret, khejaalat bekesh! You're 22-years-old and already alienated from life, without any friends. You will end up with some kind of phobia or something. Why were you so stupid? What did chat offer you? What did you gain in these last couple of months? What did you do to improve youself? Kheyli delam baraat misooze ke ingadr bi orze hasti!!!
It sounded as if my mum was talking to me. I was punishing myself, using the exact same phrases as she did — and it felt good. I felt as if someone else was telling me the truth!
Awi, 22 saalete, heyfete. Sitting behind your desk, feeling your body getting more and more out of shape, because of your lack of exercise. You used to spend hours in the gym, training, socializing. You used to love shopping and going out with Valerie, catching a movie, eating at nice restaurants, going to a bar or a club. Now look at you; you haven't been to class for ages; you just sit here, chat and eat and chat and eat.
Suddenly it hit me!… I had to get back control of my life. I needed to be in control of everything.
From now on you decide, Awi. You have to get back into reality. You spend 6 months behind this stupid computer, for what? Now that you actually see your problem; you can help yourself.
I was beginning to sound like Dr. Phil. It felt as if I was giving myself therapy. It did me good to actually hear myself say this.
Suddenly I felt as if my shoulder was feeling sore. I looked at the clock and it was almost 3pm! Had I been working for 4 hours? I looked around. My room had never shined more. I had scrubbed, rubbed and bleached my own room, the bathroom and kitchen.
With the broom in one hand and the bleach in the other, I looked at my own reflection in mirror. I shivered… I touched my face as if I had never seen it before. I had developed dark bags under my eyes and my skin was all dry and sore. My ussualy perfect shaped eyebrows (perfect as in after 2 hours of depilating perfect) had transformed into a rainforest, with a variety of odd looking trees and leafs, pointing in every direction but the right one!
My poor hair was hanging in greasy strings around my face. I looked down at my nails, which were screaming for a manicure.
Suddenly I made up my mind. This was the only way I could be saved. This was the only road which I could walk now, to get control over my life… I had to do this, even if it was going to be hell, because hell is what I deserve now ( I was feeling really dramatic).
So this was it, I picked up the phone and dialled the oh-so-familiar number. It rang twice.