The Suicide Note

The dust burned my eyes and choked my throat. I wanted to throw up


The Suicide Note
by Azarin Sadegh

An exerpt from The Suicide Note... I read it Friday night for my first public reading organized by PEN USA:

I looked around. There was so much to be done in these last days; my school project about snakes, finishing Tooba and the meaning of night, deciding the fate of my books and my clothes, destroying my diaries, meeting Kam. for one last time, and writing a suicide note for two.

The books were piled on the floor, and on my desk. I added a label to each pile, so Auntie would know what to do. The stack of encyclopedias was the tallest; the concrete proof of my tendency to learn about archaic cities, non-existent countries, dying volcanoes, or to imagine dead men’s lives. I leafed through my art books, and my heart beat faster as I discovered a new painting of Chagall that I hadn’t seen before; a man in tuxedo held the hand of a woman in pink, smiling, but the woman was floating in the air and the man didn’t seem surprised by her ability to fly.

I’d have never killed myself if I could paint like Chagall or write like Hedayat, I thought, pushing and dragging the large bag of my clothes, labeled as a gift to my dear brother, Vahid. Everyone should wonder, why Vahid?

Nobody knew him, still nobody liked him. But if they knew him, they were going to like him even less.

The last pile was my childhood stories, thin and washed out books full of traces of food or ice cream, and good memories. Auntie used to read to me every night, unlike Mother, who thought Vahid was a better reader, or maybe she just didn’t like books.

My black bookshelf was almost empty now, except for a few volumes of poetry I had borrowed from Mr. Panahi.

I rose and ran my fingers over the smooth surface of the top shelf, and a dusty cloud lifted and floated in the air, only visible through the rays of my lamplight. Even if its lightness defied gravity, still the magnetic field of my being attracted the invisible particles of dust and dirt. They settled on my hair and skin, and I sneezed and sniffled, succumbing to a sudden desire for crying. I remembered Vahid, my sweet big brother, who was everything but sweet or even big, as he was just a small man, with a small brain and little manhood. A boy who liked to read bedtime stories and the man who kept emerging in my nightmares, disguised as a fire bird, a dying caterpillar, or one of the three little pigs. Vahid used to bring a flashlight in bed, with a bunch of books he had stolen from Mr. Hakim’s bookstore. He would lie next to me, pushing me toward the wall and holding me tight in his arms. At the echo of his Once upon a time, his face would turn into a black hole, and I knew I was condemned to bear the stench of his smell in my mouth, and as soon as they lived happily ever after, his tongue would dampen my cheeks, his teeth would bite my neck, and his nails would penetrate to my bones. Listening to his heavy breathing and his moaning, I would pray to God to help me with His godly spell so I would go numb, while Vahid’s hand was pushing down my head. But there was no God in that room. So pain would crawl up and down my body, going round and round from my head to toes, and the silence of the night and his sweaty flesh would make me lose my faith and would shut my mouth.

The dust burned my eyes and choked my throat. I wanted to throw up. I wished it was also possible to throw up every unforgivable sin, or every impure remembrance. I ran to the bathroom and washed my face, and poured cold water over my head. Still, the dust didn’t go away, as if it had grown roots, planted, stuck to me like old memories. I rubbed my face, trying to rub off Vahid, knowing it was impossible to destroy a man just through wishes. His moist lips still approached me and again, I stared at his mouth and again, I moved down to his waist, thinking of his stories describing a world where the animals had feelings and pain, but not the humans.


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Azarin Sadegh

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

by Azarin Sadegh on

Divaneh-e aziz,

Thanks for reading this excerpt and also thank you for your lovely comment about how this piece reminded you of The God of Small Things!

I haven't yet read this book, but I just did a google search out of curiosity and I found this interesting quote by Arundhati Roy:

"It didn't matter that the story had begun, because Kathakali discovered long ago that the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don't deceive you with thrills and trick endings."
- The God of Small Things

Honestly, I'm not sure about the accuracy of this thought, because I don't mind to be thrilled or tricked by a writer as long as I love the prose and thoughts, etc...But having said that, I think there is a partial truth in what she says here!

Thanks again, Divaneh jan, for pointing out to Roy's novel.  


Beautiful and Courageous

by divaneh on

This is a beautiful piece of writing and I agree with others that it will challenge a taboo that exists in almost every society with great courage. For some obscured reasons it reminds me of The God of Small Things. Thanks for sharing dear Azarin and good luck with the next reading.

Azarin Sadegh

I wish...

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Anahid, I wish I had more readings, specially in the Bay area, since many of my friends live there...(I've lived in Mountain View and Sunnyvale for 6 years)...But unfortunately PEN USA is going to organize the EV readings only in LA (in Hotel cafe on April 17th and in the Hammer Museum in July)...I assume the choice of LA is for the financial reasons, since PEN Center USA's office is in LA and they have close relationships with LA venues.

But hopefully, I would manage to be part of another reading in the Bay Area too!

@HG: I trully appreciate your warm and encouraging comment! Thank you!

hamsade ghadimi

this is an amazing piece of

by hamsade ghadimi on

this is an amazing piece of writing.  even though it's not based on your personal experience, i think it's very convincing.  the writing's many details are easy to visualize, disturbing and yet beautifully expressed.

Anahid Hojjati

Azarin jan, will you have any reading in the Bay area?

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Azarin, it would be great if you had a reading in the Bay area. Any plans for that?

Azarin Sadegh

Thank you!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear vildemose, humanbeing and Statira, Thank you so much for your lovely comments!

I have to say that it took me days to choose which scene to read as my first public reading and I finally chose this "creepy" one, with the help of my new mentor at PEN USA who thought this one had a good balance of thought and action, plus enough perfect for an audience who doesn't follow the words on paper.

Strangely, I truly enjoyed sharing my work with the most enthusiastic crowd, composed of friends and members of PEN, who are mostly writers. I almost didn't tremble...and by itself it was a great victory for me!

Thanks again, Azarin

PS: I forgot to thank a few of my dear IC friends who showed up for this event, sat among the crowd with great smile and were there for me...Thank YOU, guys! You are the best! 

PSS: BTW, my next reading will be at Hotel Cafe on April 17th.




Excellent job

by statira on

in expressing a problem that is very common but least talked about in many societies.



by humanbeing on

kudos for writing so beautifully, and for sharing. 

when i first came visiting on ic, i remember your piece 'loose screw', and since then i have been following your writing. never stop! i'm hooked, as i'm sure many readers here are. 


My highest compliment. The

by vildemose on

My highest compliment. The whole piece is beautifully presented and written. Fantastic job. I read every word. Thank you. 


Not at all

by jamh on

Dear Azarin,

I knew this was a work of fiction!  Just wanted to add my own experience on the subject.  Maybe it could help someone in the real situation, and not necessary women, and not necessarily in a sexual context.

You write with an ease that I appreciate (not easy to do).

Azarin Sadegh

A footnote

by Azarin Sadegh on

I think I should remind everyone that this is a piece of pure fiction, not a personal essay...

I have no brother..nobody ever abused me!

But actually now I consider your comments as the ultimate compliment...:-)

Thank you, dear jamh, Anahid, Monda and Mr. J., for reading this piece and your thoughtful comments!

Dear jamh, A special thank to you for your heartfelt comment...but oh dear, now I feel like a an awkward way.


You courageous soul!

by Monda on

This excerpt touched me in new places... I wish I was there to hear you read this out loud. Congratulations not only to your writing but also to reading it in public. Brava!


Jeesh Daram

خانم آذرین صادق

Jeesh Daram

تبریک و تقدیر از نوشته های شما و موفقیتهای اخیرتان در دنیای نویسنده گان

Anahid Hojjati

Dear Azarin, this was great

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Azarin, this was a great read. Kudos to you for tackling such a taboo subject in Persian literature. It takes courage and also you still managed to make the read a good one.  Thanks for sharing.


But you can.

by jamh on

"I’d have never killed myself if I could paint like Chagall or write like Hedayat", but you can and you did.

Being a victim of abuse myself, what saved me was the realization that degradation is what you make of it, that humans are not pure, that purity is robbed of everyone, everywhere at some point or another, that we all leave only a stain behind when we're gone.

Strength is the worthy container of Anger, as we are the descendants of the strong, the ones that left Africa, that killed to feed our children, that fought wars, and painted like Chagall and wrote.  Rage need not be channelled into destruction every single time. Otherwise the chain will never be broken. Be an explorer.