Writing Love: Day 285


Ari Siletz
by Ari Siletz

Writing Love series:

One hot summer day, to be precise, one Friday the thirteenth of August, at about a quarter to three in the afternoon, I fell in love. Well, it was a hot day sometime in August 1980, and I'll tell you soon why I don't really know the time of day. What I can tell you for sure is that it was day 285 on the Iran hostage calendar, and the brunette sitting next to me at the bar asked me what time it was. Couldn't she see I wasn't wearing a watch? Oh, I get it. Duh!

I didn't have a watch, but she had a ring the size of a Rolex. She knew I was just passing through. The backpack said "hitchhiker" as much as the ring said "married."

"Need a ride?" she asked.

"To L.A." I said, just in case she was talking about a car. Maybe I should have said, "Yeah baby!" But I wasn't as cool back then. Besides, she didn't look anything like a "yeah baby." She was more like, "See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand that I might touch that cheek!"

It wasn't a Shakespeare kind of joint though. Kern County, California could be in parts of Khuzestan, Iran: Nothing but oil rigs, tanker trucks and scorpions. She smelled way too nice to be an oil rig, and she moved way too fast for a tanker truck. So fast she made me forget all about the scorpion part. The first sip of my Budweiser tasted like her lipstick. She didn't even ask; just grabbed the bottle from me and put her mouth on it.

A pack of males at the pool table got whiff of the stranger poaching in their territory. Usually that's no big deal; worst case, I'd take my hand off her knee and run. I'd rather some thug laugh at me than totally aablamboo my face. But this was the 285th day of the hostage crisis. Day 1 or 2 or even 20 was probably safe with this crowd. But after 285 days, even the coma cases knew something was going down at the Emma Sea in Teran--wherever that was. I just hoped she wouldn't ask me where I was from, because no way I was going to be "Persian." Hiding a personal embarrassment is one thing. But when your people do something shameful, disowning them hurts more than taking blows for them.

"So, where're you from?" She asked inevitably.

"Iran," I replied, nervously darting an eye to the pool table gang. One of the guys was so big he racked the balls from the same end of the table he stood to break from. There was more steak on him than you could get from a heifer.

"His name's Big Meat," she explained. "And he's going kill you, Sweetie."

"Why? I didn't even lay a finger him."

"You don't have to."

"Look, I don't like this hostage thing any more than Big Beef."

"Big Meat," she corrected with a salami roll gesture. "’Cuz he’s so..."

"Look, if it were up to me," I stammered, "The hostages would be home already."

"Won't make a difference to Big Meat," she said sadly shaking her head.

"So he's going to kill me just because I'm Iranian?"

"No Hon," she sighed, slipping her hand out of mine. "He's going kill you just because he's my husband."

Did I mention scorpions?

I planted a quick kiss on the surprised face of the beautiful arachnid, and took off running. She had just saved me from having it out with Big Meat over Iran.


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more from Ari Siletz
Ari Siletz

Thanks tissa

by Ari Siletz on

I take my humble bow in front of the master. Recently I was watching this recording of you on ABC's View, and shaking my head (in a good way) at your talent for political satire. The Iranian passport bit and the Islamic "striptease" had me and my friends laughing and applauding with the TV audience. Hopefully next time we meet we can have an inter-gernerational chat about the long running US-Iran Odd Couple sitcom. 


Witty and well-crafted

by tissa on

Ari, you make me shake my head (in a good way).  :)

Ari Siletz

Sharp call, Ramintork

by Ari Siletz on

One lesson I came away with from "Casanova 70" is that the opposite word for "danger" is "abstinence."


Really witty and fun

by ramintork on


I know you are a film buff, did you ever see the Mario Monicelli’s 1965 comedy "Casanova 70" starring Marcello Mastroianni, where he is a major who has an addiction to having sex in hazardous situations?

This kind of reminded me of that movie.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Ari jan: good wine isn't for drinking, just to be admired ;-)

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Every voice counts! Every action counts!


Ari, this was the best, still laughing :)

by Yana on

shad zee


Ari Siletz

Thank you friends

by Ari Siletz on

Glad you had fun with this story. Big Meat's mass made him a sluggish runner. Or maybe that was just his excuse because he knew if he caught up with this Iranian, he would get a thrashing. Shazde, how much more aging should I give my wine of wisdom before I start drinking it?

Multiple Personality Disorder

Wow! Very scary!

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

An arachid that sucks Budweiser and Big Meat!  Gives me the shivers!

Nazy Kaviani

Ari Jaan

by Nazy Kaviani on

Phew! I was relieved to see you walk away in one piece! The air about your story felt like the "wild, wild west" somehow, and as such I was feeling nervous seeing an Iranian in the scene! I'm sure glad B.M. (ha ha ha ha!) didn't get his hands on you! Thank you for the fun read!

Shazde Asdola Mirza

wisdom = (folly + luck) x time

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Thanks dear Ari; this is very enjoyable.

It's great to fool around, be lucky enough to get away with it, and finally have a chance to age it in one's memory cellar, for a wonderful bottle of Chardonnay de Wisdom.



by Afshin_Afshar on


bajenaghe naghi

afshin jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

please go to the bottom of page two and read the post by Nazy Kaviani, titled: writing love: an invitation to write. She has graciously invited us to write a story. I am waiting to read yours. 



by Afshin_Afshar on

Hi guys,

Can someone tell me what this "Writing Love:" blog that so many are doing is all about?

Thanks in advance,  


bajenaghe naghi

Ari jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

That was a great story. Many nervous laughs reading it. Thank god you got away in one piece. 

Little Tweet

Nicely done Mr Ari Siletz

by Little Tweet on

Your writing is superb! What a joy to read! Thank You!



by Afshin_Afshar on



Thank you for the anecdote!

by yolanda on

It is hilarious, but sad also. I am glad that era is over!

Last year, I saw a beautiful prayer rug on Ebay. The seller listed his location as Turkey, but when I got the rug, I realized that the package came from Tehran. I got really excited! I said to myself no wonder the rug is so pretty.......for some unknown reason, this person does not feel comfortable to tell people that he is selling stuff from Iran........ IRI is no good, but Iranians are great!


Funny episode

by Cost-of-Progress on

I suppose now you're in the show business in the city of angles....specially, since if that's your photo, you look kinda like Marlon Brando......

The only Hostage story I have to share is that some pissed off kid tried to run me over by his car on our college campus....he missed!

Anahid Hojjati

Very nice Ari. Reading it, I could picture the scene

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Ari, I liked your story.  Mostly I liked how your descriptions of the place helped me to visualize the scene well.