I always knew so well how to hate.
I hated being a child and being ignored. I hated being a teen and waiting, wondering, doubting. I hated Shah, I hated Khomeini, I hated Saddam the way their ideological differences changed all of us for the worse. The way the war locked me in my room, listening to the silence, listening to the noise, missing joy or temerity, missing the light seeping through sheer curtains. I hated missing one small volume of space in time when opening my window or listening to loud music, or painting red on my bloodless lips and nails wouldn’t have been called an act of bravery. I hated the way the women in black chador avoided any contact with me and the way I took them to be nonhumans. I hated the way I became accustomed to bombs. The way I longed to leave my home, my father and my mother, afraid of suffocating in my room, in my closet, slowly, painfully, without a fight, knowing even if I did leave, still nobody could make me whole. I hated most the way my mother waved at me at the airport, the way she didn’t dare cry, afraid to destroy my happiness, to hurt me on the day I was leaving, and the way Father wept, so I would remember him forever. I hated the way I hated myself and my destiny and the world and the way the world hated me back, like a mirror. I hated the way I loved to live and hated to live, at the same time.
Most of all I hated the guy with the beard and the gun who took me away from my father the last day I saw him alive. I hated most the sound of my father’s weeping when the guard dragged me away. I hated most the woman in black chador who pushed me, rushed me away so I didn’t have a chance to hug my father one last time. I hated most an airport, the rain, the cold. I hated most the ring of a phone. I hated most images in my mind of disease, an ambulance, the hospital’s whiteness. I hated most his bed, his needles, his pain. I hated most the indifference. I hated most the monotony of a life ending. I hated most the smell of sweat and urine, the smell of his ache, the smell of his loneliness. I hated most his waiting, his forgetfulness, his boredom. I hated most my absence, knowing that nobody held his hands. I hated most the way he refused to save himself, consumed by life. I hated most the nurse who pulled the sheet over his face, the doctor who had already given up on him. I hated most the Mullah who hurriedly read the last prayers of death for my father--in a rush to go home. I hated most the people who didn’t show up for his funeral. I hated most myself because I didn't show up either, because I came up with an excuse. I hated most my baby who became my excuse, who watched my guilt, who rinsed my sin with his tears of thirst, tears of hunger. I hated most my father who pulled the syringe from his veins, in silence, without memory, without pause. I hated most the life, the war, the death. I hated most this uncertainty, this desire, this absence.
I hated a lot, but hating was just the easy part.
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