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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