It's another one of those late nights. Nostalgia has taken over my entire being, it seems. I am listening to a heavenly voice, a gem of a singer. I'm talking about Mohammad Esfahani, one of the most wonderful new voices coming from Iran in perhaps decades. His song, “Maro ey doost“, (Don't go, friend), hits so many cords within my friend-loving personality that I cannot help but listen to it over and over again.
I write these words and send it to Bahram, my cousin in Iran. We were born a month apart and spent most of our childhood like brothers. His eyes begged me not to go when I was leaving Iran, but he knew it had to be done. Distance unjustifiably created a decade of space, where I didn't know what he was up to, nor did him what I was doing. Most of my information about him came through telephone calls with my parents. He got married, got into business and was quite busy and so did I.
So, the lack of communication was understandable by both of us. It wasn't until about five years ago, when I went home and found out what he had been through, with his failed marriage and businesses, that I realized how much I had missed. I saw him again this last year in Iran and spent a lot of time alone with him.
We talked, laughed, and cried together, driving through crazy streets of Iran. It was for the first time that I found out how much hurt and pain he had suffered while dealing with his failed businesses. I felt bad and very guilty for not being there. This guilt has complied and doubled, it seems like, since he has been very nurturing and caring with my troubles of “bad business” lately. Even though we are far apart, as he puts it, “thanks to the technology” we can keep up.
He has been my rock, my brother, my confidant, and my FRIEND. His words of advice: look up not down, be strong, think about tomorrow and loads of other positive words have been a nice, warm bandage for a big wound in my soul. Never has anyone, far or near, especially without being seen, has had such a supportive impact in my life.
So, I listened to Esfahani's “Maro ey doost” and listened to the words that followed and I am sorry that it won't translate well into English, but trust me, it's lovely,
… “maro ey doost, maro az dasste man ey yar, ke manam zende be booye to” … “to nabashi che omidi be dele khasteye man… to ke khamooshi bi to be shamo sahar, che konam ba ghame to?” (“What hope is there, with this tired heart of mine, without you? What should I do with your sorrow?”)
I wrote to Bahram, half past midnight and told him that. I also apologized and told him I was sorry for not being there through his sorrow and how thankful I was that he is there for me. Sometimes only a friend, especially one who has been through the same experience, can understand what another feels.
I thanked him and told him how much I appreciate his support, him being there and I thank his wonderful eyes for reading my emails, however bitter, sad and dark they may be. Funny that he was on line at the moment and responded to me, ever so humbly that what he is doing is really nothing. No big deal to loan a shoulder to a friend who isn't having the easiest of times.
I wiped my tears, went upstairs, crawled in bed, hugged my wife, and when she asked what I was doing up so late, I just told her, “nothing, I was on the internet”. She wouldn't understand what goes on between two friends.
So, friends, Massoud, Koroush, Mehrdad(s), Amir, Afshin, and all of you on the soccer field every Sunday, whom I came back to California because of you, for the most part, thank you for being a friend. Just like many things in life, we don't appreciate nor know the value of it, until it's missing, friendship is great and good friends are greater. I love you all.