We cannot communicate


by Azarin Sadegh

The carpet on my face is scratchy. It smells like dust and dead spider. I lift it to breathe. I crawl on my back and my head hits the leg of dining table. I drag myself toward the cold teapot.

“Once the ceiling is lifted, we could get out of here,” Ahmad says. He is holding the fridge on his chest and its metallic bottom has set visible traces on his skin.

“Once the walls are painted, we’ll take a few days off,” I say. “Do you like to have some coffee?”

“Without sugar,” he says.

We are running out of sugar. “I’ll go grocery shopping this afternoon,” I say.

“Imagine the backyard after the whole landscaping has been done,” Ahmad says. “We’ll sit in the patio and we’ll watch the view at night.”

Something’s walking on my face. I shake my head. The cockroach is tossed to a corner. Ahmad drags himself closer to me, but his balance is off and the fridge falls on the baby’s rocking chair.

“Something broke,” I say.

“It’s my back,” he says.

I gasp. I push the wall on my left to reach him, but he laughs.

“I was kidding,” he says. “It was just a cramp.”

Workers are singing a new song this morning. I wouldn’t understand the meaning of the lyrics. They’re going to make holes in the walls and on the ceiling. They’re going to add more lights and will hang new curtains.

But I never told them what I really hoped for.

We cannot communicate.

 “Ahmad, how long would it take to add skylights?”

“It wouldn’t take forever,” he says.

I grab the used plastic cup by the teapot and pour coffee for Ahmad. I slowly push the cup on the floor. Ahmad pulls his hand to reach the coffee. He turns his head and stares at my face. He has the most amazing eyes.

We hold hands.

Workers sing a love song.

“We’ll have a baby as soon as this damn remodeling’s done,” he says.

I nod in silence and my other hand crushes the cockroach.

Cockroaches don’t know how to cry.


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Azarin Sadegh

Thanks Monda,

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thanks Monda for your kind words! They really meant a lot yesterday!

Actually, after receiving some very negative email about this story and my writing in general (from someone close to me that I have always cared about her opinion A LOT), I was feeling down and terrible and I was wondering to give up on my lame attempt in writing.

But today is a new day, and I re-read your comment and others too...Of course I can recognize my own shortcomings and of course I know there's always room for improvement and I know so well that it's such a long road, but sometimes I might just need to pause and to look at the little pieces of the scenic road visible from behind my cloudy eye-glasses. Thanks again Monda!



love or need to be with?

by Monda on

Dear Azarin,

I was so taken by your vivid portrayal of the suffocation in this  relationship that I couldn't focus on the love. But when I re-read it, I felt the unconditional quality of their love for each other. Your piece made me think of many people, including myself.  Beautiful work. Thank you.

Azarin Sadegh

Nice comment!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Feshangi,

Thanks for your nice comment. It is very interesting to see the different types of reactions to this story through the feedbacks i have received by now...but I liked yours the best. "a hint of love"! Yes, it was my intention and the metaphor you've used (inviting scent of coffee) feels so right. But I hope the bitterness of the coffee is well hidden by suger and cream! 

I really think you should write more. You have the gift.



Thank you.

by Feshangi on

I can not but love whatever you write. You are very good in telling us your stories.  This one is very subtle and not in you face presence of love. You only get a hint, like the inviting scent you detect when you pass a coffee shop. 



Dear Irandokht

by Azarin (not verified) on

No my dear! You're not hopeless. If you didn't feel the love, it only means that I've failed to show it in this page.
Of course I wanted to show both love and the choking sensation that could come with it and how this lack of air could easily overshadow the beauty of loving and hope, but...alas!
PS: I liked very much your use of the verb "unleash'! There's a hidden sense of someting primitive and still very complicated (like a burst of feelings) in it that I like. Thanks!


Love Story....

by IRANdokht on

Your writing is like a key that unleashes those emotions I forgot I ever had felt. I didn't feel the love, more like exhaustion, feeling entrapped under a heavy weight, not being able to take a deep breath... I know.... I am hopeless.


Azarin Sadegh

The story behind story...

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thanks a lot JJ for posting it! Who says you don't respond to your emails quickly? :-)

Actually, there's a story behind this little story that i wrote in a "coup de tête", without really thinking much... Someone I knew was complaining about the difficulties of a loveless life. I wrote this story to show that love is not always easy.



Jahanshah Javid

Marching forward

by Jahanshah Javid on

Before I thought your story about the little girl and her father in the movie theater [My hero in the dark] was your best. This is my new favorite.