Coffee and Conversation

You were young and stupid back then but you are not any more. Here you are saying you love this guy


Coffee and Conversation
by Flying Solo

Part I [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI]

I love coffee. I love the seduction of the steam and the smell slowly rising out of a hot mug making a beeline for my olfactory nerves.  I love the taste, bitter and sharp, which spreads over my tongue and explodes on the taste buds.  And, oh for that initial caffeine rush; the perfect kiss giving the perfect jolt.  I love coffee so much that I mostly have it alone and only share it with exceptionally close friends. With all others I have tea.  Now coffee and conversation - that is the best, a close second only to love making.  Somehow coffee brings out the intimate, certainly in me.  I also like sharing a bottle of wine but only with people I love and a cigarette – well – only with the adored. This is neither a wine story nor a cigarette one though.  Let’s stay with coffee.

Mira called the other day and wanted to get together. We drove to Aroma Café on Tujunga – a sort of avant-garde hangout in Studio City where the brain of Hollywood converges.  Mira had a story to tell and wanted me to give her my opinion. Those who have met me know only too well that I don’t mince words. Clearly Mira was ready for some candid talk.

One big mug in each hand, she emerges from the shop gingerly making her way over to the table where I am perched on a rickety chair under the one and only maple tree.  She sits across from me intent to lock eyes. I stare at this beauty who is gracefully gliding through her forties. She still has that mischievous smile which I bet has melted a heart or two. After all these years of knowing her I still can’t get over the mass of hair she sports on that clever head of hers. The arched eyebrows and a pair of deep dark almond eyes sit atop the perfect set of cheeks. I don’t believe I have ever seen Mira without lipstick. She is lovely.

“There is this man.” She utters. “I love him.”

“Wow – that’s quick. When did this happen?”

“Long story”

“But you just started this, right? How long could it be?  Another one of those fly-by-nights? Is he from across the hill?

“No. He doesn’t live here. He is in Seattle.”

“Seattle?  When did you go there and find a man to love? I thought you hate the cold.”

“I do.  Listen, I am crazy about this guy.”

“Tell me more. You can’t keep repeating this “I am crazy for him” mantra. So what? You are going to move to Seattle? I can’t imagine you in galoshes and a raincoat. Get real.”

“He is married.”

“What? Are you serious? “

“I talk. You listen. OK? I have known him a good long while”

“You have kept this a secret from me – you coward”

“Look. Are you going to listen or are you going to butt in after every sentence?”

“OK – I will shut up”

“He is from my past.  Back from my student days up there.”

“Excuse me. I have a question. I promise not to yell and hit you.”

“Go on”

“A student where? You have been a student in so many places. I mean Seattle. I never even knew you went to school in Seattle”.

“I met him in Vancouver.”

“Vancouver? As in Canada? When were you there Mira?

“When I first moved to this side of the world.  I worked in the campus office back then, after school and he was there. “

“I see. So you guys were an item back then?”

“Yes. No.  Well – both - It’s complicated”.

“Let’s see – you two dated, it didn’t work out, you split and moved to LA. And he went off and got married and now he has found you on Facebook or something?”

“Is this your story?  Sometimes I just don’t know why I bother telling you stuff Solo.


“He was married when I met him”

“WHHHAAT?  “How old were you?”


“And he?”

“30 something”

Hot coffee spills out of my mouth as my jaw drops.

“What are you saying Mira?”

“You heard it. I fell in love with a married man when I was 20 and a student in Vancouver.”


“What do you mean why?”

“What? There were no other men on campus?  You HAD to go and find the one old decrepit married man to fall in love with?  What was wrong with you?”

“Look – I am not proud of it you know. I’d never told anyone and now I think I regret having told you. I thought you’d understand.”

“Listen sweetie. I am sorry. It’s just I am shocked and dismayed. I can’t keep my trap shut. I don’t want to believe it.  But never mind that, what is going on now?  You were young and stupid back then but you are not any more. Here you are saying you love this guy. I want to shake and wake you up.”

“You said you won’t yell or hit.”

“I did but I didn’t expect this.”

I stop when I see my friend shaking with tears streaming down her face, big droplets springing out of those gorgeous brown eyes.  I get up from my seat, go over and hug her tight. She is shivering in the summer heat. I can smell a man’s cologne in her hair. Clearly he has just been in town. She probably just dropped him off at the airport to go where? Seattle to his wife? New York, Boston or Dallas to another mistress?

“Do you want another cup of coffee?”

“No. I want to get this thing off my chest.”

“Fine – I will shut up.”

“I arrived in Vancouver by myself.  I did not know a soul. I was alone and homesick.  I was looking to find an apartment.  He offered to find one in his building. He was kind and helpful. I felt safe because he was married although his wife was not around. Apparently she was looking after her mother in Iran.

"I didn’t have a car and a couple of times he spotted me at the bus stop waiting to go home. He stopped to give me a ride. We lived in the same building so it was not like he had to go out of his way. That is what he said anyway.

"We struck a friendship.  He told me about his time in Iran under the Shah’s regime. Once he was arrested at the University and taken in.  I was in awe. I’d never met a person who’d been a political prisoner.  I thought he was so clever, such an intellectual with high morals, an activist. He gave me books to read about Materialism, Communism, Socialist Movements - Ali Shariati, Ashraf Dehghani, and Ehsan Tabari.  What he said made a lot of sense. About the Shah and then Khomeini and how one day we were all going back. He said he was going anyway. He hated the west, the capitalistic society and all that.  It never occurred to me to ask him why he did not go back after the revolution.  He was from a religious family but said he was an atheist. It all sounded very complicated and awe-inspiring.  I can’t remember it all but I know I could not get enough of him talking to me.  He had wonderful eyes."

“When did he make the moves on you?

“What do you mean?”

“Mira: You were 20, he was, what? 35? I assume you and he both had hormones?”


“OK. 33.  Do you really think that he was only interested in political discourse with you? Like you say, if he really was into that sort of thing, back then he’d have moved to Iran, become a revolutionary servant of the Ayatollah.  But he didn’t.”

“Yes – you are right. He did a lot of talking.”

“Well, talk is cheap.”

“Yes. I know that now. Back then I was just so impressed.”

“Well – most 20 year olds are impressionable. It was not hard for him. He’d been around. He probably knew exactly what to say to get you wrapped around his finger. Those lines may not have worked on a 35 year old but they worked like a charm on you.  He chose his prey well.  Anyway back to the man-woman thing.  I mean his wife wasn’t there, right? And he was not out with another woman? So, he must have been getting keen on you.”

“I suppose.”

“What do you mean I suppose?  You were 20.  Remember. You didn’t know better.”

“I was at fault”.

“At fault?  What do you mean by that?  What?  You twisted his arm to give you books, talk with you, buy you food, and give you rides? This man with such high morals – he didn’t lay off you.”

“He said he did not care for his wife.”

“Well – that’s rich.”

“He said he married her under duress.”

“Well – honey, if he had said to you that he loved her, he’d have definitely blown any chance he hoped to have with you, don’t you think?  So, OK – you buy this stuff. He married some woman under duress, he stayed with her despite no love and of course he was not having sex with her.  Right?”

“You see it so clearly, don’t you?  I didn’t see it that way. I saw a unique individual, so sensitive and sweet, a man with a social conscience for which he’d go to jail, somebody who would stay with a wife because he’d given her his word. And he had found the love of his life – ME.” And then there was this inconvenient marital status. I felt really guilty about it.”

“OK – Time out. Earth to Mira. The fucker is making the moves on you, an innocent 20 year old who just stepped off the boat – so to speak. He sweet talks you with crap about prison and a wife he hates. He rapes your mind, he moves to steal your soul and uses your body and YOU – sweet Mira – YOU FEEL GUILTY? What’s wrong with you women?   Please – oh God – please tell me the wife showed up and saved you from wasting your time on this loser.”

“Solo – I fell in love with him and he fell in love with me.  He was the first man I slept with.  I got pregnant with his child.”

“What a nightmare.  Did you have anyone to go to? Please tell me you did.”

“No.  I wanted to keep the child but he convinced me that an abortion would be better.  He paid for it”

“Oh, Such a generous soul.”

“Drop the sarcasm. OK?”

“And you split with him then?”

“No – after the abortion he was careful. We only had anal sex.”

“What the hell? This is making me sick. What a bastard.  Did he do anything but use you? How have you been able to keep this to yourself all these years?

“It’s OK. I am over it.”

“Where was this goddamn wife? That’s what I want to know.”

“She came a few months later.  The baby would have been 23 today – you know.”

“OK. Please tell me you made a scene. There was a showdown.  Let me picture it. Please.”

“Solo. There was no show down. I kept our secret.”

“Our secret? When did this become “our secret”? It was HIS secret you kept.”

“It did not stop after she arrived. It just got more difficult to meet.”

“How so? Now I am intrigued.”

“Well . I could not afford to live alone and took in a room-mate. So he could not come over to my place.”

“To fuck you mean? Butt-fuck to be exact.”

“You are so coarse Solo.”

“Sorry – make sweet love to your derriere. Better?”

“I thought, well, it was over now that we had nowhere to go.  Maybe a shared lunch or something but no more hanky panky.”


“Well, he had this scheme that we could go to the woods.”


“There are a lot of parks in Vancouver.”

“And a lot of rain also.”

“After work, he’d pick me up at the bus stop because of course he didn’t want anyone to know he and I were an item. We would then go over to one of the parks.”

“For a walk, in the rain? How romantic!”

“Not quite.”

“I will assume – safely – of course, - that he would have had a lot of explaining to do at home if his clothes got dirty so sex in the park was out.”

“Sometimes we’d just stay in the car. He’d kiss me but really quickly, feel me up and then force my head on his ……”

“Go on”

“I hated it.”

“Say it Mira. Give it words. Picture it. See it with your mind’s eye.  Make it real.  Own it. Hate it. Puke it out.”

“I can’t.”

“I’ll do it for you then.  He’d take you to some secluded park; stop the car under a tree, away from windows and people.”


“He’d tell you that you meant everything to him. That he could not live without you in his life.


“He’d even shed a tear or two. He’d take your hand in his; tell you that’s the last thing he thought about before falling asleep at night. Your lovely hands.”

“Yes – How do you know all this?”

“He’d put on that puppy face, look in your eyes, caress your cheeks and place a gentle kiss on your lips.”

“Yes – that he did.”

“Then he would feel your breasts; stick his hand in between your legs. All in a hurry. Sometimes you’d catch a glimpse of him looking in the rear view mirror or his watch.”


“And then he’d take out his cock, force your head onto his lap and tell you to suck it. Did I get it right?”

“He stroked my hair and would tell me to be careful not to bite.”

“Were you ever tempted to bite?”

“No but I hated doing it.”

“But you did it.”

“Yes.  I loved him so I did it. Sometimes we’d go into the woods and we’d do it there.”

“Do what? You’d have sex in the park?”

“No. I’d…..,.”

“What?  You’d what?”

“I’d go down on him. I’d kneel on the mud and …….”

“And give the asshole a blow job.  And did he reciprocate?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do I need to spell this out darling? Did He R-E-C-I-P-R-O-C-A-T-E? Did he go down on you – in the woods?

“I never asked for it.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know.  I was too shy.”

“Go on”

“It got to be an obsession with him. Sometimes he’d call me at my lunch hour and ask that we go to the park to do it”.

“Correction here dear – YOU DO IT. He did nothing. – Fuck all is what he did.”

“Yes – you are right.”

“And the wife.  Any suspicion there?”


“So he was fucking her at home.”

“What do you mean?”

“Darling – do you really think a wife won’t suspect a thing if her husband was not seeing to her needs at home?”

“He said she did not like sex.”

“And you believed him? Sweet Mira – you are more naïve than I thought. Come here, give me a hug.”

“He said he loved me. He said he could not stop thinking about me and that he wished things were different. He loved me Solo.”

“So that is why you left that place huh? You escaped. You escaped love? You must have had some shred of dignity left, even at that age, to have packed up and left.

“Kind of.”

“And he didn’t come chasing you?  He didn’t leave his wife. He probably never said he would anyway. Did he?”

“I would not have been able to live with the guilt of taking another woman’s man.”

“So you did not consider what you were doing as having ‘taken’ another woman’s man?  Oh the contradictions we live with and justify.”

“They had a child soon after I left. I heard from a friend.  I remember being mortified when I found out that he must have had sex with his wife to have had a kid. I know – pretty stupid.”

“So why are you going back to all that heartache now Mira. Why?”

“He found me. He came to visit and told me he was so lonely.  Years and years had gone by and he still could not forget me.”

“And of course you believed him - tricked at 20 - fooled at 40.”

“It must be love.”

“Next time you are with this LOVE of yours ask him if there have been others.”

“He already told me.  He had a 7 year affair with his secretary, to forget me.”

“Classic – Cliché. Good Golly.”

“Only you can say things like that. Good Golly? What does that mean anyway Solo?”

“I don’t know, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? Besides, it made you laugh.”

“So this secretary is out of the picture and he comes looking for you?”

“It makes so much sense when you put it that way but I don’t see it like that Solo. When he is here, and I am in his arms; it’s as if none of it matters.  I am transported to another world where wives and affairs don’t exist; where clocks stop ticking. There is no distance, nor heartache.  It’s just me and him and the memories. We are soul-mates.  How could I have such good sex with a man if he did not love me, if we were not meant to be together?”

“You have good sex with this person because you want to have good sex.  Chances are you could have as good a sex with another person if you put your mind to it. Most of sex is in your head anyway – don’t you know?”

“I suppose.  But I don’t have a past with the other men.”

“A sordid past turns you on? Betrayal, lies, mistreatment, humiliation – these are your aphrodisiacs?”

“I fell in love with his mind.”

“So he mind-fucked you. They all do if you let them.”

“We are so good together Solo.”

“Every minute with him is like that or is it just when he is getting you aroused so you would forget about his ‘inconvenient marital status?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean do you feel so ‘one’ with him when you are having a cup of coffee, like you and I are right now? Or when you are out for a meal or watching TV?  Do you feel close and wanted – a part of his life?

“Well – not quite. At those times his other life looms over me.”

“Sweetie – YOU are his other life.  His real life is in Seattle – a wife and a kid and a lovely home, Christmas dinners and house parties. You are the side-dish. I know you don’t want to hear it and I have no other way to put it to you except with coarse and crude words.  He is using you because you are letting him.  Love, love, love. Listen – look at me.


“He had a child with the wife he said he hated, a wife with whom he claimed not to have had sex and one whom he married out of obligation. What did he do to the child that was growing in you? The one whom he had freely chosen to love and have sex with? What did he do Mira? He killed it and then he raped your mouth and your ass.

“How come men can’t hurt you this way Solo?”

“Because I don’t let them.  We teach people how to treat us darling.”

“I don’t think you have ever been in love Solo.”

“You may be right.”

“Nothing moves you.  Always clear as a bell. A mind that never takes a break. How do you do it?”

“ If love is to forget the self, if love is sacrifice of self-esteem, if it is give and no take, if love is to be a side-dish and never the main show – if love is to hurt, cry and pine, if love is to be trodden and shat upon – then no – I have not been in love. “

“But surely you have loved a man who has not loved you back.”

“Of course.  But those I loved from afar. Admired, even adored but I accepted, bitter as it was, that they did not love me.  It was hard. I cried. I wanted them so badly to want me. But you see, you can’t make someone want you, let alone love you.  You can make a man do everything else begrudgingly, but you won’t be in his heart if he does not want you there.   And besides who wants force majeure love? The value is in its free giving - no conditions, no expectations, no ownership.”

“And how many of those loves have come your way Solo? “

“Not many – but enough.  Enough for me to have tasted the real thing to know it exists. Just like this perfect cup of coffee.”

“Say it one more time Solo. If he does not love me then what does he love? What does he feel for me?

“Well Mira. I don’t know your man.  I don’t know whether he has ever loved or what his definition of love is.  It would all be a guess and I would be wrong.  One thing I know is that you are beautiful, kind, sweet, and gullible and come intact with integrity.  What man would not want that if he did not have to be tied to it? You are in love with a fantasy and in that fantasy he is the perfect one.  You provide that image for him in his head that his wife of 20 some years has shattered through every day living.  He has a life with her, you see. The routine, the normalcy of it all; the kid, the house, the habits. Those are all comforting. He may not like her just as much she may not like him but they like what they have. And here you are, available and willing to add the zest.  Maybe the marriage would have fallen apart if there never was a third wheel.  I expect he has always had a mistress and chances are she knows. She allows it so the marriage can survive. No woman is blind to her husband’s infidelity unless she wants to be. She is choosing to look the other way. Plus, he lavishes on her probably, making it hard for her to walk away. They have a life and you are their toy.

“What about his conscience? It is probably killing him.”

“Well – he is not dead yet, is he?  He gave up his conscience a long time ago I bet.  I venture to guess the first affair a man has is the most difficult but then it gets easy, you see. They gain experience and confidence.  They learn how to work the women, get into a routine, figure out the hours, account for the time away from home; the gag gifts for the wife and the mistress.  They learn to keep shirts in their cars, lots of cologne to cover the perfume and the smell of sex, they learn to pay for outings with cash with nothing bigger than $20 bills.  They learn to watch the clock without appearing to do so. They become better lovers and better liars in the marital bed and outside of it. And they continue the charade for as long as the women - the wife AND the mistress agree to play.  I expect your ‘man’ is one of those.  He’ll chase you for a while but when he finds out you want more, he’ll make himself scarce. That or if he finds an easier prey closer to home, he’d drop you like a hot potato.”

“You are so cynical Solo.”

“Me? A cynic?  I love men. I just know them only too well. I know what they are capable of. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t have minded being a man myself.”

“You are a hopeless romantic Solo. You could never be a man. For all your clinical crust, you’d fall for a man at a drop of a hat.”

“Possibly – but I’d just as easily bounce up and fly off if he tries to put one over on me. Trust me darling – I am not very popular with men. “

“What should I do Solo?”

“Listen to you.  You are asking me what to do? You are the one with the fancy office and the fat paycheck.  Do what feels right.  That’s the only thing I can tell you. “

“What would you do Solo – if you were me?”

“Hmm.  What would I do?  The evil in me would arrange for a romantic meal to which a prostitute I hire would show up, who’d offer to go down on him and bite him hard.  The devil in me would hire a billboard and announce to the world that this excuse of human excrement who calls himself a family man is nothing but a liar and a cheat. But then there is the human in me.  Oh yes, the human.  I’d walk away.  Send a ‘keep well’ card, close the chapter and let karma take care of the rest. You said he has a daughter. Right?

“And what if he comes after me?”

“That’s a fantasy sweetheart. Men don’t leave wives of 20 some years. They get kicked out and let’s face it, deep down you wouldn’t want another woman’s cast-off would you?  Maybe you’ve wanted an unavailable man all this time yourself. Maybe you enjoyed the thrill of having snatched another woman’s man, albeit momentarily.  Who knows what lurks in your subconscious to compel you to engage in this ‘lust’ fest.  After all I am under no illusion that you, darling, are an angel either.  You , me, all women live the romances we truly deserve.  So, look in the mirror and start anew.  Live well. That would be the best revenge.”

[Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI]


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more from Flying Solo
Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on




Looking forward to the rest of the story.

by Princess on

Dear Solo, 

The length of this story did not bother me either, but I agree with the comments about the judgmental Solo in the story. She is a bit irritating, and I find her behaviour makes her a bit less credible as a friend character in whom one confides such sensitive issues. Still I think you have done a great job with the humour in the dialogue. I understand writing dialogues is not easy. 

All in all I enjoyed the story and look forward to the next episode. 

Oh, and I agree with Setareh on the abortion issue. 


very interesting exchange!

by Monda on

I did not mind the length of this story at all; I actually enjoyed all the specifics in this conversation. I got a clear sense of these women and their very different experiences.

I do confess that by the half point Solo was getting on my nerves for sounding condescending. I wanted Solo at times to just hold this friend's experiences rather than throwing judgments at her after each sentence. I would've preferred if Solo let Mira stay with her story - all the emotional gore of it. And then toward the end when Mira asked for her share of wisdom, Solo had the opportunity to give her all that she knew of men. Solo is wise by the way, don' get me the wrong way. It's only her aggressive style that at times during this scenario kinda got me thinking "let her speak, this is Mira's moment..". But I definitely got that Mira's confession prompted an emotional charge in Solo.

Anyway, Solo jan your story brought up for me many important issues. Some of which are eloquently covered by Azadeh and Setareh, on the perceived notion of moral dilemma of abortion in Iranian women (to me Mira sounds Iranian). Also, various styles of abuse in marital relationships. But at the day of the day I suppose each partner benefits from something in the marriage. And who is to judge? Unless of course we're talking about a good friend's life scrutinized, in which case I want to know all the details as Soloy did, but perhaps in a more holding style. 

Enjoyable read, thank you. 

P.S. not wanting to burst your bubble, but caffeine's charge takes  2-3 hours to affect the brain, but hey being a caffeine-junkie myself, I feel you!:O) we have a caffe' aroma nearby too, i wonder if it's part of a chain

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on


Azadeh Azad

A very wise and hilarious piece

by Azadeh Azad on

Dear Solo,

What Shazde says about good writers not mentioning every details in a story is correct only in general, not in the case of this particular piece. The whole beauty of this work is in its details -its both hilarious and sobering details -, otherwise it would have been a boring and moralistic story. 

I don’t think Mira was an Iranian woman, was she? She did not have the shrewdness and pragmatism of Iranian women, whether traditional or progressive, inexperienced or mature. Anyway, it was so funny to see how harsh you were with her. From the moment you began talking to her, I laughed all the way till near the end.

The very funny parts:

  • "To fuck you mean? Butt-fuck to be exact."
  • "You are so coarse Solo."
  • "Sorry – make sweet love to your derriere. Better?"



  • Did he go down on you – in the woods?
  • "I never asked for it."
  • "Why not?"
  • "I don’t know. I was too shy."



"A sordid past turns you on? Betrayal, lies, mistreatment, humiliation – these are your aphrodisiacs?"

I stopped laughing here:

 "He killed it and then he raped your mouth and your ass."

1) I did not like the word "killed" about a foetus. That’s not the way a progressive person would think of abortion. 2) There was no rape involved in this story. Mira was over 18 and as long as she consented to have sex, she was not a rape victim. Using the word "rape" in this context, would take away the agency from Mira and would leave her treated like a child.

The following are valuable opinions that I share:

" If love is to forget the self, if love is sacrifice of self-esteem, if it is give and no take, if love is to be a side-dish and never the main show – if love is to hurt, cry and pine, if love is to be trodden and shat upon – then no – I have not been in love. "

"And besides who wants force majeure love? The value is in its free giving - no conditions, no expectations, no ownership."

And I laughed again towards the end:

"The evil in me would arrange for a romantic meal to which a prostitute I hire would show up, who’d offer to go down on him and bite him hard. "

Thank you.


Setareh Sabety

nice piece flying solo!

by Setareh Sabety on

I really love reading your pieces. They are so intimate and descriptive. I think it is a little hard to believe that this woman would go back to this dude after such a long time, but this is fiction and anything can happen. The question is not why she goes back but why does the author make her go back?
We all have known women or have been in abusive relationships. Mind you, I have seen some poor Iranian men who are heavily abused as well though in a different, slow and prolonged fashion. Men whose women don't give them enough sex or love and who make them feel inadequate and incompetent. Also sexual relationships are very complicated and the one who appears the victim is not always the victim.
As for abortions, I don't know, but when I was young and living in America abortions were not such a big deal amongst my friends. I simply don't get how if you accept that a fetus is just that until whenever it is that it becomes illegal to get an abortion(eight weeks nine weeks? whatever)why would you get so hyper-emotional about it. In my days if you were not pro life you did not get overly emotional over an abortion certainly not to the point of bearing a grudge 20 years later! I know I may get lynched for saying this but it will be because the abortion issue has become so politically loaded that it has acquired surreal proportions. I have also talked to many Iranian women ranging from my mother's generation up to the now who are very pragmatic about the issue. In my mom's days if you could get a safe abortion and did not want to have a child, for whatever reason, you got one. It was all about keeping it quiet and making it quick and safe. Pregnancy was a woman's affair and not a ideologically loaded topic. I am sure neither I nor my friends in college, nor my mom and her friends are the norm but I felt I had to pitch in my two bits.

It is certainly an issue worth exploring but women are not as emotional as men and society sometimes make them out to be.

I eagerly await partII where hopefully we will figure out why Mira goes back to this asshole after such a long time and as a mature woman. I sure hope the moral of the story is not that women are stupid and repeat mistakes! That would be too close to home pour moi!!!


dear Solo

by Souri on

As you have noticed, so far I am the only woman who stepped forward here to voice her opinion :) That's the exact reason why I did it. Because there were only men (Iranian type) who dared to address this essai, while the main person here is, Mira, a woman! 

About the other question: portraying that man as an abusive one: Sorry, I might have misread your point in this lines:

"The fucker is making the moves on you, an innocent 20 year old who just stepped off the boat – so to speak. He sweet talks you with crap about prison and a wife he hates. He rapes your mind, he moves to steal your soul and uses your body ...."

No matter what, I agree that the "abuse" is done. Just some of the other factors are to be discussed.

Thanks for taking time to read my note.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on



If I may.....

by Souri on

This is not about love, this is about good sex, as you said it truly.

But again (I know you won't like this solo) I do not agree with this portray of an abusive man here.

The girl did all those things she said she hated to do !! and she went over and over continuing a so called "abusive" relationship!

She is likely to go back to the same relationship with the same "abusive man" after some 20 years now!!!

Believe me, when you hate to do something, you just don't do it!!

You can be mislead by your emotion, for a short while, doing things you hate, for a few times, but will do everything to get rid of it.

If you give someone a whip and  they whiped you , and you do not do anything to stop it or run away from it, can you really call that person "abusive"?

I could believe it, if she was not so willing to go back to the guy, after so many years (and having more experience in this matter).

Also, let be honest: A 20 years girl, is not an innocent baby neither.

I know you will call me a "man lover" again, but it is not true! I'm all for the woman's right and I believe a woman (your friend in occurrence) should respect herself in the first place and refuse to fall for the abusive manner of any kind.

Ah, I forgot to add:

For a young 20 years old girl, having an abortion means going under trauma, she would never like to go back to the man who did this to her. Your friend, Mira, is showing kinda "Stockholme Syndrome" here. She needs a therapist.

ex programmer craig


by ex programmer craig on

I wanted to add that I like your story, although like Shazde I became annoyed with some parts. However, I think it worked better the way you told it than it would have if you tried to smooth off the rough edges :)

Shazda, you are right that solo could have left some things unsaid, but I think if she had done that many readers would have not done the necessary work to try to understand the situation as it was. In your example, for instance, you just convey a change in the relationship.The reader doesn't really get a sense for how the character's feel about it, or how the relationship went from where it had been to where it ended up.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on


Jahanshah Javid

Hard to let go

by Jahanshah Javid on

Once you are in an abusive relationship, it's hard to let go. We think we are in love, we think we have no other choices, we think this is it, our fate. This allows the abuser to go on abusing. We really do need to (gently) shake our abused friends or relatives to wake up and see what a horrible position they are in.

ex programmer craig


by ex programmer craig on

Maybe you’ve wanted an unavailable man all this time yourself.

I think you hit on it right there, at the end. I was married for ~10 years and from the day I put my wedding ring on to the day I took it off, I was amazed at how often women, whether single or married, would make moves on me... even women who knew full well that I was happily  (well, for most of that 10 years anyway!) married. I never cheated, but I was sorely tempted a few times. I don't know if there have been any studies done on this, but there seem to be fair number of women who like "safe" men, that they don't have to worry about having to get into a real relationship with. Like, a part time boyfriend that they can treat as the perfect ideal without having to see the real man behind the never-ending courtship rituals. That's the theory I came up with, anyway! I think guys are much the same, although I think guys get involved in affairs for completely different reasons. More to do with power/ego and easy sex for men, and fantasy romance without any real world consequences for women.

I could be wrong, but the way you tell it, it sure seems the case with your friend. She's in her 40s now and hasn't found a mate of her own? There's got to be something behind that. In any case, I sincerely hope her love life works out in the future. Minus the asshat!


Shazde Asdola Mirza

Thanks Solo for this engaging story

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

I enjoyed reading it all, and look forward to the next segment. On second read, I have a couple of comments to add.

If I can count myself as an old but honest friend? Well, in that case, your piece is perhaps a bit too long, as you had a tendency to write in great detail and length. I remember reading that "a good writer should have faith on the intelligence of his/her readers". Meaning that the readers can often fill up a lot of blanks, if you present the outline well. There is typically no need for details as to how things happened from A to Z, but rather the setting of atmosphere with the energy, the players and the key actions; then letting the active imagination of readers take over and fill most of the blanks.

For example, some details in your story are irrelevant and even annoying or incredible. Such is the claim that two grown-ups in modern Canada would engage in anal sex, just because they are afraid to have pregnancy! The reader would think; well how about condoms, or pills, or IUD, etc? Instead, you could have enlarged and emphasized the agonizing pain of an unexpected abortion, which can mentally and physically hurt and degrade a woman much more than her partner and then, for instance, have said that:

"Mira found having sex with him more and more difficult, as the thought of another life forming in her and dying again was all too unbearable. As time passed, their relationship fell towards short encounters in the car or in the park, with deep discussions replaced with curt sentences, and loving sex displaced with meaningless blow jobs."

There, you could have all the key ingredients for an intriguing story: love and suffering - pain and remorse - loyalty versus filth of submission, etc; all short and sweet.

Another point: please don't be too obviously critical and judgmental of your story's characters. Readers can read and understand the events and normally enjoy and expect to make their own judgments. You only need to nudge them, but don't push them, or they may get upset and push back.