They could kiss each other, he thought remembering his dead wife and how soft her skin felt


by Azarin Sadegh

A man was walking at night. He stopped at the middle of the narrow wooden bridge to gaze at the surface of shining water flowing below his feet. He ignored the inviting melody of the stream. It’s just a dark thought, already written so many times in so many different ways in my precious books, he thought and inhaled the fresh air of night mixed with the stench of the river.

He kept on walking and reached the muddy shores. A group of young people were swimming naked far from the coast. The sound of their laughter shivered his back. He sighed and envied their youth. I’ve read this scene in a red book when I was 14, he thought. But he didn’t take off his clothes to join them.

He walked and walked until the black sky turned red. He stopped and looked for the origin of the majestic light. A glorious sun was rising slowly from behind the tallest peaks of the mountains surrounding the city. A cliché. It’s just a repetition without originality, he thought.

The streets of the city lost their emptiness and their silence broke by the noise of the children going to school and the parents late for work. Cars honked and buses tilted heavily from one side to another. The man gasped and hid his face under his palms. If my children hadn’t left me, he thought but couldn’t finish his sentence. He remembered the books he hadn’t read yet.

As he passed by a green garden, he saw a young couple sitting on a bench. Their hands entangled and their eyes lost in the picturesque view. They could kiss each other, he thought remembering his dead wife and how soft her skin felt. His solitude grasped his thoughts and made him walk faster.

The man reached a black casket placed on the ground and a group of people gathered around it. They wore black.

“How did he die?” he asked.

The woman wiping tears off her face said: “By oldness. My father was 92.”

“So why do you cry?” he asked. “I am coming from a place where the children of my generation died of bombs or of hunger. Your father was lucky to have survived all those doomed children.”

The woman stared at his face with disgust and shook her head. “I cry because my father loved to live,” she said. “I am sure those children of yours never loved as much as my father did.”

The man couldn’t recall anything about his old classmates - already dead.

“Oh Madam,” he said and smiled tenderly. “I apologize. I never meant to be rude to your father.” He got closer to the woman and whispered in her ears but it was like talking to himself. “I’m a librarian and I’ve spent my whole life reading books. I just realized that I’ve forgotten everything about my old friends and my childhood.”

The woman sighed and ignored the one drop of tear sliding on her cheek.

“I assure you Madam,” he continued. “My sadness comes from the fact that nobody taught us how to love.”

“What’s life without love?” the woman murmured and started to cry.

The man couldn’t think of anything. What’s life without thinking, he thought.

The man knew it was the right time for him to leave. He bowed to the rest of mourners but they ignored his respect. He wished he could remember a few good lines from the black book about love and mercy, but the right words escaped his mind.

As he finally reached the library, his face was red and his hands were shaking. He couldn’t breathe and his chest ached. The sweat ran along his forehead and crossed his eyes. He thought about crying. He dragged his body to the top of the stairs and looked back at the city.

It was gray - almost black – the sky evaporating in the smog. The city was choking.

The scene held a different kind of beauty. The image wasn’t similar to any page he had ever read. He longed to come up with his first original thought. Like his first intimate reflection. Something not written yet.

The librarian smiled of joy and pain, but this time he had no time left to think.


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Azarin Sadegh

Thanks all!

by Azarin Sadegh on

This weekend was a pretty busy one for me: It was father's day and also my older son's B-Day. He turned 14 and of course I was in charge of the festivities :) I just checked and I was flattered by the positive feedbacks and very surprised by lack of any negative ones...

Dear Niki: I think I have already written about my deep love for movies and cinema. So I felt honored and excited when you compared my funeral scene with a scene from a director such as Luis Bunuel! I have already seen “Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie” and “Bell du jour” but while looking for more info about him, I found his movie named Nazarin! Isn't it funny?


My Dear Irandokht: Ah..I am so sorry to mess up that last breath for you...ok just kidding! I wish you a very very long life full of joy and happiness and success so when your time arrives you would have a hard time to remember this little insignificant story by then!

Dear mini: Thank you for your rich and thought provoking comment! The other day in my writing group one of the writers was talking about the solitude of writing. And how a writer feels to turn into an observer. Like a spectator to other’s lives. I had to confess that I had never felt this way and they told me that the reason was that I haven’t been writing long enough...

I still tend to disagree. Without having experienced love/hate/sorrow/joy/birth/death/anger/....etc in real life and through real relationships how would it even be possible to write about them? I really think that through writing a writer creates something extraordinary out of the ordinary life and it is his/her way of expressing his/her love for this same life. I cannot think of any great fiction where its author hasn’t been in full love/admiration/ obsession for its main protagonist.

Dear Feshangi: Thank you for your kind words! Like you I love also the short surreal stories as long as they don't break the rules of the physics and their main subject is about the real life.I love also Peter Sellers movies. His Pink Panther series are the funniest and his humor in Dr Strangelove and The Party is just priceless...but unfortunately I haven’t seen the movie you had talked about. I googled about it and this film seems to be another wonderful movie that I have missed! Thanks!

Dear Warm: To this day I haven’t been to UK and since you are an unregistered user, then even if I go to UK, I wouldn’t be able to find you!

Thanks again,



Azarin you look really foxy.

by Warm Iranian (not verified) on

Azarin you look really foxy. We should really hook up if you're ever in the UK. I loved the story too. Way to go!!!


Dear Azarin

by Feshangi on

Thank you for the lovely story. It was a little surreal and warped. Exactly the way I enjoy most things. It somehow reminded me of Peter Sellers last movie, "Being There", the story of which was written by the late Jerzy Kosinski.  



Love is the basic need of life..fourth basic or its first basic?

by Mini (not verified) on

...and life runs away while we are rushing through things and being too much occupied being ourselves..busy proving ourselves to the world….voicing our opinions...all life we are busy with ourselves...being important...being right..being first....being is beautiful when we find others more important...when we can make somebody feel wanted...when we can lend meaning to somebody's recognising them and their needs and thus acknowledging their existence...that is when we are loving people..

If each one of us can live with this realization that we are important but never indispensable the world can really be at peace with itself..

And though we are so happy involved with ourselves yet in the end we need! we need! people...

Heres a a stanza from a poem by 'James Beatle' that describes the thought:

"I praise the Frenchman, his remark was shrewd,
How sweet, how passing sweet is solitude!
But grant me still a friend in my retreat,
Whom I may whisper–solitude is sweet."


Way to go Azarin!

by IRANdokht on

Now even that last state he was in would sound familiar to me when it's my time, as I read it described so well in your writing.

Nice work! 


Niki Tehranchi


by Niki Tehranchi on

Honestly, what a creative, nice allegory.  I especially am in love with the passage:

 He longed to come up with his first original thought. Like his first intimate reflection. Something not written yet.

The funeral scene is priceless.  I can almost see it in my mind playing out like something directed by Luis Bunuel. 


Very effective.

Azarin Sadegh

Thanks JJ!

by Azarin Sadegh on

If you're not good at thinking, then you can't be preoccupied by a concept :-)


PS: I used to read too many books but one day I decided to stop. Somehow they were making me miss the real life through the redundancy of their concepts. Being a witness is not the same as being seen. But now that I'm much older I miss that same redundance!

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Beautifully written. Made me think, something I'm not good at. I'm preoccupied by love, at least the concept of it.