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March 28, 2003
The Iranian

Part 25

March 26

Am walking in Greenwhich Village, holding my cup of coffee, and gazing lovely at all the spliff smoking skaterboyz, chess playing thugs, and hustling performers that make this corner of New York City so lively.

A sea of yellow cabs is whisking by on the east side of Washington Square Park, where a police van is permanently stationed, right in front of NYU Law School.

Aaaaahhh it's good to be home....

Suddenly, a man rushes out of one of the yellow cabs, almost knocking me down in the process.

--"Heeeyyyy!!!!" I scream out "Watch it Paulie-Boy!!!"

But the suited guy does not even glance backwards as he continues in pursuit of an invisible target across the Park.


Abruptly, we are plunged in darkness as the moves lights are turned off and Washington Square Park turns back into a phony lot from Universal Studios, California.

Hehehehe... Did you really think I would do it? Fly home with my tail between my legs?

Well, it WAS really tempting. I have to admit, I almost gave in. But the balance on my checking account and my maxed out credit cards were a tiny problem. I couldn't even afford to fly home even if I wanted to!

Maybe it was the right decision. Turns out, I bought a copy of Backstage West on my way home from the airport and took a detour when I read the ad asking for extras for a new movie starring yet another vapid action star.

I became one of the hundred extras pretending to be New-Yorkers walking about while Mr. Macho pursues the bad guy. Isn't that the life though? Seems Hell-Ay is filled with New York transplants with dreams of making it to California, only to win their bread pretending to be New-Yorkers...

I wasn't given a line originally. Just another nameless, faceless pedestrian scurrying along the fake Washington Square Park, like so many rats.

But after a few takes, Mr. Macho accidentally bumped into me on his way out of the cab. And he really could have hurt me. I mean his elbow missed my nose by a hair and made me spill my coffee. So I just blurted out the first thing that came out of my head. To this minute, I still don't know what the hell I meant by "Paulie-Boy" but the director liked it. He called it "the authentic New York thing" whatever that means and decided to keep it in. So voila! I graduated from extra to one-liner. Probably will be credited as the "Paulie-Boy girl". That's if I don't end up on the cutting room floor, of course!

Still, there's no getting rid of that smile on my face. It's nice to have a sunny(er?) disposition for once.

I get home and Antonio, Chloe's new Menudo lookalike butler, is packing her clothes and knick-knacks for the big move to the Hollywood Hills of the old creepy Mexican Beer tycoon she has decided to shack up with. She didn't even bother showing up. Not that Artie is missing her much. He is too busy adoring the way the Latin Lover Boy flexes his butt muscles every time he bends down to pick up another item. I swear, I think I caught Artie surreptitiously knocking over a few make-up brushes and ceramic cats so the show can go on.

I go to my room where I plop down on my bed, suddenly exhausted. I am not used to feeling content, let alone happy. It is really more tiring than you would think keeping up this euphoria. So much easier and effortless to wallow in self-pity and grief.

The phone rings and I already know who it is. Right on the dot, at 6:30 p.m. every evening since the day we have met, Dariush is calling to chat and check up on me.

We had such a great time on Nowrooz when I met him at his parents'house in Calabasas. We ended up ditching the old fogies and going to the Commons to have a drink with his older brother Keyvan and his wife Negin.

They are a really sweet couple, newlyweds from a mere 6 months. Keyvan is just as dashing as his brother Dariush, they almost look like twins. But Keyvan is much more of a ham while Dariush seems quieter, more reserved.

Ever since that evening, Dariush has been calling me almost as if on clockwork, same time every day, which I find kind of cute. Obviously this guy is not the spontaneous kind but I kind of like it, given that I am flaky enough for the both of us. I need some of that stability in my life. The problem isthe conversation has kind of dried up and it's only been a week. No matter how much I steer the topic here and there, he doesn't engage with me and resorts to that time-honored Iranian conversation filler:"Khob digeh che khabar?" That usually drives me crazy but I must admit, he is so cute that I am willing to overlook it. For now. I am hoping things improve once we actually see each other in person again, like on a date. The other thing that's been driving me crazy. It's been a week that he has been calling and he still hasn't mentioned anything about getting together. I hate to make the first move! So we might be stuck in this weird phone dimension for a while.

I also feel kind of guilty, as if I am cheating on Ali. We haven't spoken since our pathetic attempt at reconciliation a few weeks ago. I don't even know how he is doing, whether he's seeing someone (like Shohreh! Grrrrr....). The sad thing is, on top of being my boyfriend, I miss him as my best friend. It's such a void. There are so many things that I want to share with him, like something funny I read in the paper and that I know would make him smile. Stupid stuff like that.

Meanwhile, Dariush and I are stuck in one of our usual awkward pauses when, with a trembling voice, he manages to utter the following words:

--"Do you... wanna... catch... some dinner... some time?..."

Hmmmm... Some dinner... Some time... Wow, that's "some" offer. I try not to giggle because I feel that it has taken him all his courage to work up the nerve to actually ask me out. (Why? I will never know. I've never been the type of girl to make palms sweat.)

--"Sure. I would love to."

Another awkward pause.


He sounds relieved but does not stop hemming and hawwing.

--"Hmmm... Okay then...Errr... Great, so... I'll call you..."

Click. He has hung up.

Boy, this courtship is moving at an even slower snail's pace than my acting career. At this pace, they may actually be handing me the Academy Award by the time we get to our first date.


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