Revolution & Superman

  Been watching this unedited and unfinished video on youtube for the past half hour or so. At 11, I was too young to attend all those demonstrations but along with my young uncle, we managed to escape the watchful eyes of my grandfather or mother enough times to still see plenty of similar scenes. I more particularly remember the smells, feel of winter clothes in close proximity of large crowds, the rush of people backwards and down as the sound of bullets picked up in unison to warn of an incoming barrage.

My most vivid memories prior to the final days involve inadvertently stepping in a pool of human blood, where an injured protester had just been removed. I am not sure if he survived, but he had lost plenty of blood in a rather short time.

I also remember another day when we had a third partner. Shahram was really a friend of my uncles’ with a great gift. He could draw really well. His talent, along with my own interest in drawing and calligraphy had made us friends also. But his art was very different than mine. He was great at drawing detailed cars, but I liked flowing animals. He drew exact copies of superheros in action, particularly Aquaman and Superman, while I experimented with abstract cubes penetrating spheres.

On this particular day, I had brought Shahram a surprise; a genuine American Superman magazine I can not recall where I had gotten from. He was beyond excited, of course, watching page after page of action shots and explaining how he could do it better or more likely; how it was already done so perfectly. All three of us where doing this right in the middle of a walking group of demonstrators that were chanting and carrying signs, going north from what was Fooziyeh square.

There was the occasional sound of shooting, not unusual for 1978 in Tehran, but for most part the demonstration had moved along uneventful with little interruption from soldiers based at the square who just watched as we passed them.

As the three of us were getting really into the Superman action, I suddenly looked up and it looked as if the three of us were standing in the middle of the street by ourselves. I then looked up and can still clearly remember the reflection of the sun off the helmet of a soldier on top of a personnel carrier with a mounted heavy machine gun pointed towards our general direction. There was also a caravan of other personnel carriers, jeeps, and tanks following them.

It turns out that everyone else had seen them coming and also noticed the soldiers at the square (now behind us) closing the road to trap everyone within a two or three blocked area. Many had sought shelter in stores on either side and a large number were trying to get inside a large hospital when the shooting began and the three of us were still frozen in the middle.

I don’t know which one of us started running and pulled the other two but it sure wasn’t me. We must have ran at full speed for about half an hour until we reached Shahram’s home on Gorgan avenue, way out of the danger zone.

We then sat on their front door step, watching the cars, people busying themselves on the small sidewalks and finishing our discussion on Superman.

Just another day during the last great revolution.



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