1 ¬

I don't know if it's been a month yet. Every day I have something to say but I don't have a safe place for keeping these records of loneliness. A few days ago I gave last month's letters to the few drops of water in the Dry River. By mistake; I thought they were my letters to Hamid which he had returned to me.
Yesterday I wanted to tell you about missing and the place of every person. Sometimes I think you know already, no need to say. But I say it now. Different people I see each complement a particular part of my being. Some with their forehead, like when they make me frown. Some with lips; they create the need to smile, to swear, to kiss or to bite. Some with hands; the feeling to caress or slap or embrace or grab the collar. Some with feet; the feeling to escape or to approach or to kick. Some play with your eyes; cry or gaze. Some shake your heart, warm it, freeze it, make it beat faster or loosen with compassion. There is one who is different from all of them, who is different from the person who plays a game with your entire being, who doesn't act from outside, who doesn't pull or push you. You feel her pain and happiness in your veins, you feel her in your roots not on the skin. This person doesn't die for you, her distance is meaningless, she is entangled in the pieces of your life, she is in you at the moment of need, and in times of happiness you see her and her laughter beside you. Trusting that this person has come one day and entered you, loneliness loses its meaning. Today, loneliness tightens its grip in the passing of every second, and the presence of every person around me is the proof of this monster's victory, and its only your presence which keeps me from reaching madness.
Among all the comers and goers only a few fit the image that we construct of them. (Forgive me, perhaps I shouldn't have used the plural here but I think you too, for a long time now, have been dealing with this.) I had written in a letter to Hamid "sometimes we see in a cat's eyes something we can see in a woman or a child" and this is a lie, it is connecting a reality to it's opposite. A cat doesn't have the capacity to be human and we add from what is inside us to our image of the cat so it becomes something we want and then we believe it. This is why many people turn out to be 'fake'; and I at this moment, as if I've reached the end of a birthday party, am opening the presents and looking inside. A pitiful moment when amidst all the colour, glow and hope a handful of sequins and rags pour out; as if it was supposed to be love and song and flight jumping out of the boxes. But suddenly after this tragic loss of hope your eyes fall on a small package in the corner, and when you open it, you find the little bird of hope. But things will not be as good every year on your birthday and today after many years I have you and the few whom you know. Like someone said, everybody else was a 'jerk' (I don't know the correct spelling).
Dear Mina, I can't remember when I wrote this.
Love you.
I'm sending this two days after you called.

2 ¬

Salam, hope you are well.
The e-mail hasn't arrived yet and I don't have your address to send you one of those (e-mails). It seems like it's easier for them to send than to receive.
Here in the alleys the scent of bitter orange blossoms has deafened everybody's nose, missing your deaf nose. When I'm stealing flowers too only you are missing (if you haven't become so civilized as a result of living in the west to consider stealing flowers a crime).
I feel like a slut. Not now, but when Soheil is here. I don't know if you've seen the fury flower. I haven't seen one, but they say as soon as a hand touches it, its petals wither as if it's dying. I feel like my femininity has run out of my being. Pray, in any language you know pray for me. Forgetfulness has become a horrible problem for me. I can't sleep again at nights. I can't find the place of struggle in my mind. I have taken steps against all of my dear values, I have denied myself. Apparently this forgetfulness is a reaction, to get away from the hanging question. It's a difficult path, compromise in this situation is almost impossible.

Salam Mina,
I'm sitting in my statistics class and I'll snooze after writing these few lines. I'm tired of not having any news. The e-mail hasn't arrived. These idiots say the first thing last. From the day you said you'd send the mail (!) I'm very impatient. Or perhaps it's the result of waiting for your return. I hope things go well. A few days ago when Soheil was here I said 'Mina is returning'. He said 'then I'll leave for sure, it's either her place in Iran or mine!' (Forty dervishes can sleep on one mat and two kings can't fit in one kingdom.) There are a few papers that I will send you before it's late. Sometimes I only feel the need for connection. By the way, I saw Gabbeh. We went with Soheil and Amir and spent 1000 toomans. 3x140 for tickets and 480 for cheese puffs, candies, juice, sandwiches and ice cream as bribe (for Amir to stay silent). But the colours and the scenery kept him quiet for over 3/4 of the film. He also liked the relationship between the old Gabbeh and the young Gabbeh (he knew they were the same). And he paid special attention to the cows (the sheep) and calves (the lambs). Anyway, it was a royal outing. Only you were missing.

I'm withering badly because of this entanglement. In the hours of calculation and conclusion (nights) I am exhausted, and during the day I'm confused. Insomnia is back again. Raising a livable house from these broken bricks and rotten woods is hopeless. Death is in my eyes. Until a while ago, I was looking for an excuse to change the situation, like to start a fight and prove that he is following a plan in his dealings with me. But now I don't have any hopes. Mina, lying is difficult for me. It confuses my mind. I can't live with a lie. I don't know what I will do. I need to cleanse my mind for a while. I need solitude and freedom. Something I have never had a taste of. And my mind is occupied. Pray for me because I don't see another way.
[no date]

3 ¬

I've been waiting for your letter for a long time, but nothing has arrived. I sent another letter two weeks ago. Even the empty envelope hasn't arrived. I'm afraid they may have put it in the wrong box because once they had put somebody else's letter in our box. Hamid is waiting too. Anyway, our letter is late.
Amir's end of the year exams are over. In the science exam they had asked him what's a cow's skin covered with, and he'd said feathers. His teacher had grabbed his hair and asked what are these, he'd said fur. Anyway, kids in this age will not learn human language so long as they have mothers like me.
My exams will start next week. I was very busy this term; mom had an eye surgery first then her back went out, then Amir's transport left us stranded and we had to take him back and forth every day and now my exams are starting. I hope things go well.
I dried some flowers, pretty and boring; I'll send you a picture when I make an arrangement. Mina, I'm telling you again, first thing, don't forget the letter to Noori. He is recovering but only on the surface. I wrote to you before, he said "I can't figure this out." He said it as if he hadn't said that to anybody until that day. I think, like us, he too has lost his home and family. Write to him. By the way, his last year's students say he used to die his hair and mustache. I wanted to take a picture of him in the conference, but the day I managed to get a camera he didn't show up.
I'm waiting for summer to arrive so I can continue looking for myself. I can't get a summer job this year, but Soheil is giving me some money every month which makes my life a bit easier. (Shouldn't go untold that with lots of lies and tricks and games I managed to get this money in monthly cheques, and he is very upset now.) This time I haven't reached the explosion stage but the work I had started in unfinished. Again when I take inventory in my mind Saha is missing. Also, I have to put my mind in order a bit, and my room and appearance too because 'incongruous' is the word to describe it. Mina, a few times I've been about to say that I'm worried for you but I didn't want to and held myself. Please let me have news of you regularly, don't punish me if I break my promise.
I'll mail the letter the day after tomorrow
(the envelope and stamps are ready too.)
I'm waiting.
Love you, Saha

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