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How does it smell?
I felt a unique and extra ordinary high after hearing that word "Iran"

Farzad Fadai
September 2, 2005

I'm in one of those strange moods again. It's hard to describe it though. It's not bad nor it's good. Strange perhaps is the right description for it. I figured maybe I should go to the gym and somehow get ahold of myself, so I did.

The gym is a weird place. People are doing things they don't do in their normal day to day life. They pick up heavy weights, they run while they are suspended. They pedal on a bike and don't go anywhere - you name it, it's there.

I did all of those moves and then went to the steam room. I like it there. A lot of steam in a small room. It's a good place to make me think about what I did all week and what I'm going to do next week. Nobody was there. I guess people don't feel like sweating in summer time, which makes sense to me for some reason.

I covered my head with my towel and tried to relax. The door opened and there it was - two people coming in. I could see them from a little hole through the towel. They were Iranian. They had all the characteristics of an Iranian. And I was right. They started talking and there wasn't any more doubt about them in my head. Since I had my head covered they didn't know who was sitting there, so they continued their conversation.

I said to myself, this is great. I can sit here and listen to their conversation and enjoy the whole thing as much as I want. After a few minutes, one of them asked the other one, "So, how was your trip to Iran?" When I heard that word I felt my blood rush through my veins.

Going to a different direction, I felt a unique and extra ordinary high after hearing that word. Iran, my country, the country that I haven't seen for such a long time. 21 years up to right now. And there it was this young man who was talking about it so casually. It was like he was just there and left to come to gym half an hour ago. He talked about food, love, places, people, family, friends, streets, houses, parties, cars, girls, boys, etc, etc. and I was there digesting it as a total stranger.

When the conversation about Iran was over, I didn't want to be there anymore, so I took the towel off my head and sat there for a moment. A strange silence took over the whole room. They found out that the guy in the corner with his head covered was in fact an Iranian. I picked up my head and they were there looking at me.

One of them said: "Are you Iranian?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Hello, hello, I hope we didn't disturb you by our conversation here."

"No, not at all. I enjoyed the whole thing."

I got up to leave the steam room and when I got to the door something was missing, and it just came out of me in a flash, "What about the smell? You didn't talk about the smell."

They were somehow caught off guard. Another moment of silence. And I was standing at the door staring at them.

"It smells like Iran, you know."

"No, I used to know, but not anymore," I said.

I left and I'm home now. Talking to you. My head is heavy and my fingers can't type anymore. My eyes are full of tears and I can't cry anymore. All I know is "Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all."

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