Friday, August 13, 2010
The sum of all fears
I am waiting for the bus after a long day of work, and looking inside my bag for my bus-pass. A car passes by and from the corner of my eyes, I have a quick short glimpse of the car: a police vehicle. In a fraction of a second, my hand goes to my head to manage my scarf on my hair. I laugh at myself; silly me! This vehicle still intimidates me after all these years. I get on the bus and sit by the window. Somehow, something doesn’t quite feel right, and then suddenly, like the sudden beats of the bass drum at the end of a dark symphony, the horror begins.
I guess the image of the police vehicle and my hand automatically going for my scarf, has stimulated my brain center for the fear and related memories. Series of images, all dark and scary, start marching in front of my eyes…, the fear of a 4-year old getting lost in the street, the fear of a 9-year old sitting alone in the dark comforting her 2-year old brother and worrying for their parents, the fear of a 15-year old being assaulted in the bus while riding home from school, fear of a 20-year old being arrested for hiking with her friends; and the constant strong nightmare of being beaten and begging her to stop…
The former ones appear and disappear quickly, but the latter one stays, and stays, and stays…She is beating and I’m crying "Don’t!". I push the headphones inside my ears and turn up the music. Josh Groban singing "perché, perché…?" doesn’t help either. She is still beating and I’m running away, still begging her to stop. My tears are right behind my eyes and just about to drop. With difficulty seeing through them, I change the album, find "Shahram Shabpareh", turn it up some more, and by the next bus stop, I almost drop myself into one of my favorite places, the cozy little farmers market close to my place. She is still chasing me and I’m still running and begging. I try to focus on what I want to cook for dinner. Shahram is shouting in my ear and I’m taking deep breaths and smelling the melons, the peaches, the strawberries...and finally, the image starts fading away.
And then it’s gone…Whew! Just about time.
With a bag filled with fruits, and a recipe for dinner in my head, I walk towards home, and try to push the whole experience under the cover of “oh-it-was-that-time-of-the-month-again”. Although, somewhere deep in my heart, I know this is not true. The images keep coming back every now and then, to haunt me again. I’d better keep my ipod handy…
Posted by Nava at 12:53 PM