Age — episode 1: shall I cry or laugh?

It was already dark when I step out the language institute. I was feeling happy and content, as I could still recall some of those naughty innocent funny remarks the boys at the course had been exchanging; the ones which make a 3-hour intensive evening language course more than just endurable. That is why our class is usually pleasant and delightful; no matter we are only four. I must have maintained my usual subtle smile as a sign of satisfaction.
While getting on the taxi, I was reviewing some ideas for writing a new post on my weblog. “Mrs, Pearl” and “la situation de femmes iraniennes” were already in the queue. “Age”, “respect” and “funny classmates” were turning round in my mind and different words and sentences in both French and English crossed my thought. I was structuring them in my mind, trying to find missing words, expressions and phrases I did not know, when I got off the taxi and passed alongside the street to the northern side of the crossroad in order to catch another taxi. At that place, the taxis usually destine at avenue A or B, and my destination was avenue B. I had just placed myself among the crowd who were calling taxis, when a black Pride braked quickly in front of me and the driver bent his head, stared at me and asked:” Didn’t you recognize me? are you going to avenue A?” I gave him a glance. “Why the hell should I recognize you, pest”, I murmured to myself. I ignored him, looked at another direction and changed my place. I moved a bit down the street and located myself beside a woman wearing a black long veil. I would feel more secure, and the guy had no other choice except to just move on his way, as it was a crowded one-way street with no possibility to reverse or turning round.
Most of the taxis were loaded by passengers of avenue A. Avenue B has almost always a huge traffic jam which makes drivers to refuse passengers. Five minutes later, while calling taxis by saying “Avenue B”, I heard somebody addressing me from behind: “Are you going to avenue B?” I turned my head. The same young driver continued quickly: “My name is Babak. I am the stage designer of M.M. [the famous Iranian comedian and director]. I was just driving by, when suddenly you drew my attention. You are really photogenic [poof!] and we are looking for new talents. Could we have a work discussion in the car, please?”
I was bewildered. Work discussion? On a car? At 8 in the evening? Finding a new talent? All would sound ridiculous to me, however, it came quickly into my mind the similar story which had happened to my brother-in-law just recently. He is in his second visit of Iran and two or three days ago, he had been offered an excellent job quite unexpectedly in the street. I looked the guy over. He was a thin, not-tall not-short young man in his twenties, with black eyes and black hair, wearing jeans. An average youth one can see around every day. I felt self-confidence in his voice, no sign of shyness or dishonesty. He sounded determined and decisive. And he was not rude. So, I decided to give it a try. And why not? There was no chance for any insecurity, I assumed, as there was a terrible traffic jam and huge crowds on streets as usual. By the way, I am obviously at least 10 years older than him, he must have definitely realized that I was not certainly his sort.
I followed him to his car which was parked by the side of the street about 50 meters ahead. “I just bought the hair gel [maybe conditioner] I was looking for from this pharmacy”, he started the conversation, showing me a bottle of hair gel and turning on the car.
“May I ask your name again, please? May I know your surname as well? And what did you say, you are what? “, I asked, decided not to give him any chance to beat around the bush*.
– I am Babak G. and I am stage designer. What’s your name?
– Well, can I talk about it later? What is the work about, please?
– I found you really photogenic and we are looking for new faces. By the way, I would like to talk about our emotions. I would like you to feel comfortable.
– My face is not new, actually many others have similar face. And about emotions, I think it is too late for me to deal with them in this way. I have passed those ages of…
– Oh, no… you are modest. You look artistic. It seems you are involved with art. I have a strong impression that you are talented. You look also sportive. You are in a good shape for your age. Many women do not care about their bodies. Do you do swimming?
– Sorry to say but I think your impression might not be correct. I do not do much of art. And I know so many women even having some children who care a lot about their shape, so there is nothing special about me. Could you please tell me more about the work?
– I have worked with M.M. and J.R. We are just finished a series to be on air for new year….but, take it easy. Let’s talk about our feelings. You are full of energy. Why are you so tough?
– I don’t like J.R., actually [well, I hate him , no matter lots of Iranians are fond of him and his works]
– Well…you may find this new series completely different. What’s your job? You should do some art work, no?
– I am an engineer. And I don’t do art. I was once accepted as news commentator on Iranian TV but I did not follow that. The circumstances would not sound OK. Can we talk about the job? By the way , I am already feeling there was a mistake. I am not probably your good choice.
– No, no, no … it’s not TV… let’s first talk about ourselves and our feelings, then I will give you my phone number. Let me put your bag at the back seat.
His hand grabbed my bag firmly, but he tried gently to take it away from me. “No, thanks, I hold it myself as I am going to get off soon”, I said.
“You have a strong character, however, why are you so tough?”, he pulled back his hand from my bag and put it on my seat, slightly touching with his fingertips the side of my manteau over my lap, and obviously aiming at stroking my leg!
– Please, take off your hand of my seat!
– Why? I want to exchange the energy of my emotions with you. I want you to understand how much energy you are giving me. What’s the problem with that?
– Everybody has his/her own believes. I do not like it. I do not want it. That’s it. It is all about respect. Please do not put your hand on my seat!
– I am full of respect toward you, I am not rude. However, I want you to know how much energy you radiate by yourself, specially your eyes, which are so hot! Why you are so tough? Take it easy, let’s talk more comfortably…
– I am too old for such things. By the way, you told me it is about work and I accepted to get on your car just because of that. I think, there was a mistake. I am not your sort. I am happy if I give you energy but I hope you find an appropriate younger one of your kind. If you want somebody to share your emotions, I am certainly not the right person. I am sorry that I may have made your path longer, I thank you for giving me a ride, and I appreciate it if you let me get off the car.
– Isn’t there any opportunity you give it a second thought?
– Not at all!
– You are soooo tough!
– Yes, it’s me, and my character
– Let me drop you off at the corner…
I did not see any sign of embarrassment, shame or regret in his behavior. However, he was definitely impressed by me, particularly when he admired my response of “not at all!” We were polite to each other to that point, in only 15 minutes of our conversation, although neither of us compromised his/her objectives or attitude! In my first experience of this kind, I tolerated the absurd conversation and I managed to hide my fury.
I was filled with mixed feeling. I was happy that I was old! Yes, one of those rare moments a woman would thank god for the age. Due my age, I was in full control of the situation. Years ago, I would have shivered of fear and scare. I was not tempted and seduced by funny girlish talks. I was polite, honest and at the same time firm, so I was proud of myself.
However, I felt sorry for the guy, and also for the girls who would be seduced by him. Is it exactly the way by which the generation younger than me tries to attract the attention of the opposite gender? And are today girls really seduced by M.M.s and J.R.s or by having a photogenic look? [if so, I am pleased I do not belong to this new generation] How far a young adolescent would let the hand of a guy touch her lap in order to exchange emotional energy?!
I also felt a bit sad. No matter I am not at all in an urgent need for a job, no matter I am about to start a new life abroad, no matter I am enjoying my time taking up some of those activities I have always dreamt for, I certainly miss something. After having lost my job unfairly as a result of a wrong decision (the highest manager of the office admitted it when it was too late to change the decision. Although the office faced the consequences and paid indirectly for it, I did not return to the office), I developed a kind of feeling that all my efforts at work which was appreciated by lots of colleagues and managers did not pay me back. I was left with feeling of being useless. Once a possible job offered to me, I was so excited and felt again precious and worthy. I felt sad, thinking, how many unemployed and jobless Iranians are waiting for a job opportunity to feel useful and precious again?

*This is not the exact conversation we had, but it covers almost all the points raised in our discussion. Please remember, I wrote this text mainly to practice my english and revise the vocabulary in order to find the appropriate words for expressing my view. Please correct my mistakes…

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3 Responses to “Age — episode 1: shall I cry or laugh?”

  1. simba Says:

    ha ha ha, that was funny. u should have punched him in his face when he was trying to touch ur lap.

  2. selfexpress Says:

    I would if he would dare to go on more… I told myself, let act civilized, anyhow, I was in his car
    I think the way i talked to him was sufiicient…you know me, when I decide to be seirous, I am seriously serious 😉

  3. سالاد خرچنگ Says:

    First of all I think your English is perfect. You don’t need to be corrected. Second, if I were you I wouldn’t risk getting on a stranger’s car, you can never trust these people. (And I’m from the new generation). You should’ve asked him immediately to drop you off the moment he tried touching your lap.
    I too hate J.R. I mean it I hate him, I can’t see how people can laugh at his ugly face and ugly gestures. He only makes me disgusted.

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