Of course I wanted to go to heaven with Muhammad and the crew, but it was quite difficult to resist making fart noises when the Principal went to Sojdeh. And who wouldn’t savour moments in which you shift your weight on your hands and attempt a high kick in your friend’s head praying behind you? Yet most exciting was sneaking away and running down the stairs 5 steps at a time to hide underneath the stairwell to avoid getting caught. Yes these were the moments that provided the 8-year-old me with utmost excitement and pleasure during Namaz everyday. By the time I was 10 however, it had gotten old.
While hiding under the staircase on a gloomy winter’s day, i decided to spice things up. I was a senior at elementary school and had to prove my superiority to everyone if not myself! I realize now what they mean by mid-life crisis; I think I was experiencing mine! Since sports cars and face lifts were nowhere in my imagination, and I had no money to splurge anyway, I decided to practice my deviant nature and prove to myself that I am indeed still young and quite alive. I looked around, fixed my maghna’eh, grabbed my bangs and pulled them out to make sure I look the part! So hair showing and all, I came out from my hiding place and was faced with row after row of shoes. The smell of racks and racks of shoes made me drunk and I started humming a song. Our school being a mansion confiscated during the revolution, it was surrounded by emtpy land with overgrown acres of weed. I threw the first shoe I could find from the top rack, my teacher’s, but it wasn’t the last. Practicing, I realized that my pitch became perfect, resembling that of a baseball player, though not so American.
The feeling was nothing short of exhilaration and ecstasy. No one could mess with me now, and from then on I made sure everyone knew of my powers. Looking back I believe I must have assassinated about 40 pairs of shoes if not more, though no one could prove it. I was the original Shoe Thrower, and I never prayed a single day. If I was unable to escape because of someone standing guard at the door, I would recite Shahram Shabpare or Sandy and would spit gum into the crowd when it came time for Rokoo. If I had gotten a great grade in Religion that day, I would recite Yadegare Doost to show respect.
I’m glad I went through my existentialist phase at ten, so at 25 I need not worry about life and husbands and children.