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Flushing sabze down the toilet

Short story

April 17, 2002
The Iranian
Sizdabedar, 7:00pm

The stupid sabze was stuck. He had stopped flushing but the water level was still rising. He tried to reason with the stupid thing. "Go down, please... Go down, Go down! GO DOWN, YOU STUPID SABZE, GO DOWN, GO DOWN YOU...." He began kicking the Pepsi-colored bowl as the water started pouring over the side of the bowl. Just then he heard a knock on the door of the apartment.

Frustrated and exhausted, he stared at the sabze as it danced back and forth like some kind of flesh-eating, exotic, and mysterious ocean plant under the pool of water in the bowl. "I GIVE UP," he yelled. The sabze watched him indifferently as it danced from side to side in a hypnotizing manner.

Fifteen minutes earlier

"It was a complete waste of time. It was a complete waste of time. It was A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. IT WAS A COMPLEAAAAA...."

"Shut up, OK, just shut up!" she responded as she brought her left hand up, holding it only a few inches away from his face. He stared angrily and curiously at the small hand, looking at each finger from top to bottom, as if he was trying to study and intimidate her hand at the same time.

"If you bring your hand up to my face one more time," he paused as he tried unsuccessfully to take a peek at her from between her bony fingers, "I will break your fingers, you understand? I will break your freakin' fingers, each and everyone of them." He paused for a few seconds, then opened the door and walked towards the house, leaving her behind in the small car. He looked content because he had shown her who the boss was.

He glanced at the sabze. He imagined the sabze had turned yellow from fear of what was going to happen to it. A sly smile crept across his fat face, most of which was covered by his Nike hat.

Two hours earlier

"The tire is flat," he announced as he looked at her with the same look he had given a small dog that had urinated on his pants when he was sleeping in the park a few weeks ago. She was too cute to be the target of his revengeful intentions but he had it up to here with her. He had it up to here.

"So chi... what are we goin to do?" she asked lazily.

"I donno," he said, trying hard to look composed and detached from the situation. He brought his hand up to his fat face, trying to shield his red eyes from the afternoon sun, as he started looking in all directions carefully. Not a single person, he thought. Not a single person.

"Why don't you use the zapaas... that little wheel that you keep in the... trunk?" she said with furrowed eyebrows, as she looked the man who now resembled a fat eagle in the burning sunlight.

"You see," he said as he suddenly turned towards her, his globular stomach almost throwing him off balance. "We don't have an extra wheel because that little wheel, if you look closely, is actually the one that is now flat," he said as he gestured sharply towards the wheel. "And I mentioned that twice already, once a few days ago and once before we left today."

He brought down the hand that was blocking the sun and pointed at the sabze with his index finger. "Now if we had just thrown the sabze in any of those rivers... and I know what you're going to say; they were ponds, and the water has to be moving... blah, blah, blah! As I had earlier suggested, the water was moving. The damned water was moving," he added as raised his eyebrows. "But now, we are in nowhere, we haven't even found the river, and we also have a flat tire."

He looked at her with an overwhelming confidence as if he had just explained the theory of relativity to her. He looked very cool and composed. He kicked the flat tire.

Four hours earlier, at 1:00pm

"Mch... Mch... Mmmmmmmch," he kissed her soft fingers, taking his time to kiss each from top to the bottom. "I am so lucky to have someone like you. I am the luckiest man in the world, you my little goochi-moochi, you're my grrrl, sweet pea, sugar, honey," he said adoringly, as he looked into her beautiful eyes. "See! sakht bood... hard... it hard?" she said. "No, honey; all I was saying is that I am not into all this... I wuv you and... honey bunny... stuff. I said I love you, isn't that enough? I show my love through what I do for you. I could tell you stuff, always talking, moving my freakin' tongue up and down, but it is through actions that I can show you how much I love you. Now listen: We will throw the sabze first, then we'll have a romantic lunch at... well, it's a surprise. Then, oh then, we will go dancing on this boat, remember the one in the picture? The boat thing starts at 4:00 and by... 7:00 we'll pass by that island that I showed you in the picture. Remember those beautiful trees? We'll drink wine, dance, and have so much fun, OK? If this doesn't prove that I love you, then I don't know what will," he paused, trying to catch his breath.

Her head was turned away from him and she was staring out the window. She was smiling, her eyes looking brilliant and sharp. The pale blue sky had never been this clear and the sun was shining brightly.

Yesterday, 1:00pm

She was about to leave the bath tub when she realized that the water level in the tub was not going down. Something was blocking the small hole.

Two days ago, 6:00pm

"OH, MY GOD! Who is knocking on the door?" said a young woman as she covered herself with a long pink towel.

"Just relax, just relax," he said, his heart beating faster than the time he was chased by the two security guards for kicking the door of a Mercedes SL500 which was parked in the bank parking lot. "Just relax... relax... she never comes home this early. It can't be her," he added, as he tried to pull on his small Gap underwear.

The light from the car headlamps, reflected in the neighbor's window, shined in the small mirror in the bath but the heavy water vapor blocked the light from reaching their view. She slowly walked towards the small window.

"Does she have a sky-blue colored car?" She asked innocently.

"Well, she..." he said, still trying to pull on the underwear.

For a second he looked confused, then suddenly screamed, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? SHE WILL SEE YOU!" He leapt across the bathroom as if he was a thin ballet dancer but he slipped and went down on his chubby face.

"My freakin' face," he groaned.

"I am so sorry but I gotta go," the young woman said, not looking a bit concerned.

"My freakin' face," he repeated. His freakin' face was indeed hurt but other than a nose-bleed he was fine.

The young woman rushed out of the bathroom, ignoring the repeated knocks that had become very loud. She entered the small room in the back. There she put on her black dress and hurried out the back door. Soon she was lost in the dark cloudy night. He was still groaning when he opened the door for her. She was wearing a very old white dress. He explained that he was taking a bath. She complained why he had changed the lock without telling her. He came up with some stupid reason but that was just the beginning of a long fight. It was a long fight indeed. Back in the bathtub, sitting under the thick soap lather and covering the small hole, was a green circular brush with a flat base and long pointy tips. The plastic lifeless brush could be flushed down the toilet, perhaps. Only if he knew...

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