She was sitting on the ground, having stretched her feet, as she used to when she felt tired and wanted to get a rest from her chores before the afternoon or night sleep. She’d half-lied on two pillows put atop one another and against the wall behind her. Her medicines _ a plastic bag full of them_ and an empty glass were next to her. She was resting her head on the wall. Having lifted up her head a bit, she wasn’t looking at me. Nor was she looking at anything around. She looked as if she was brooding, as if looking at a faraway place, a very, very faraway place, a very, very faraway place which was also very deep and which she’d fell into and got lost and no more could find a way out, a way back, looking with the very eyes whose left one was now sightless because of a torn retina, and was void of life, light, and motion, with her very big eyes which were wide open and did not blink at all. Aimlessly, she’d touched the carpet she was sitting on a few times, as she used to, lifted and put down again her bag of medicines once or twice, and rubbed her hands together a couple of times, but now she was as motionless as a stone and brooding. Her withered, wrinkled face was before me. Suddenly, it seemed a bit paler than ever. She was still lost and couldn’t find her way back. I’d asked my mother to tell me how it was when she received the news of Syawekhsh’s death. Syawekhsh, my eldest brother, had been killed in the fronts of Iraqi_irani war so many years ago. And yet, even before she utters the first words, I realized I’d done a mistake. I was afraid that she’d remain lost like that forever, or, rather, she’s been lost since time immemorial. Finally, she moved her head slightly and gently, like a leaf falling from a tall tree as slowly as can be, or the first raindrop hitting the surface of the calmest pond. She gulped a few times and started: “it was morning, around 10 o’clock …” Her voice had difficulty coming out of her mouth. Unlike ever before, she was talking quite slowly and in a very low voice, as if her voice had got lost too, in those faraway places, as if she had to drag her voice along all the way back to the present. I’d never heard this quiet voice of her, this slow talking, this way of speaking which seemed to be attuned to an inside rhythm matchless in quietness and slowness, as if coming from beyond the walls of the house and the yard and the walls of all other houses and from beyond all Aron Awa and from beyond all the mountains surrounding it. “It was morning …,” she murmured again, as if not able to say another word and repeating the same over hoping something else might come along at last. She paused a few moments, and again she said,” It was morning …”, and I was thrown back to that morning … A morning in Dar-e Baru, my motherly village, around 10 o’clock, a military Toyota pickup raced into the village, burying everywhere in the dust, as if it had brought all the dust in the world with itself. I was the only one not leaving the school. The teacher and all the students had rushed to see what news it brought. I’d wanted to be a smartass and finish my already hale-finished homework first and then go and see what’s going on. I’d never imagined that Toyota pickup speeding into the village and burying everything under dust may have something to do with our family. Suddenly, a girl, a classmate of mine, rushed back into the classroom, breathless a bit, and said, “Why are you here? You brother is killed!” I was looking at her confusedly, not quite understanding what she was saying, what her words exactly meant. I just knew that something had happened, without realizing what exactly it was or its significance. I went to our house with the girl. All the people in the village had gathered in front of our house, some people could be heard wailing and crying, the Toyota pickup was in the middle of the empty lot in front of the house, my mother was crying and wailing … She’d stretched herself more on the pillows, her head rested against the wall motionless, her gaze still fixed and her voice hardly coming out of her mouth. Slowly and quietly, as if doing some duty asked of her, she was continuing talking. She only moved her hands slightly from time to time, putting them on top of one another or upon her belly, somehow involuntarily, movements disoriented and ….. It was as if she was dragging herself along from that morning, and it was heavy load, and it became harder and harder to drag it along like that, her breathing was slow and heavy, there were long pauses between her words, she’d brood and get quiet again, for a few moments, as if trying to catch a breath, find some strength to go on. Her wrinkle-buried face was before me, the person she’d dragged on, for all those years, a woman who’d begun aging all of a sudden, a woman who always wore black clothes and after so many years only rarely changed it with dark blue, a woman who’d suddenly developed blood pressure, long headaches and neuropathy and medicines had become her lifelong partners, a woman who took a handful of pills every day, pills for blood pressure, headache, neuropathy and other diseases who came one after another and seemed to develop out of each other: goiter, cataract, bone pain, torn retina, arthritis,  backache, and so on, a woman who’d had a surgery every few years, a woman who’d become skin and bones, and who she’d dragged along. I was hearing her voice which she’d carried along since that morning, and her wrinkled face with its hidden anger was before me, anger which now tried to hide itself but was discernible to me, as someone who’d for years had lived with that anger and knew about it, anger which years ago was not so hidden, which showed itself in her sadden quiet cries, in her constant nagging, bitter constant nagging which sometimes we could no longer stand and got out of the house so that we wouldn’t hear them anymore or turned a deaf ear and pretended that it’s not important. She’d not only hauled herself along during all those years but us too. For my father after that morning when a Toyota pickup had sped into the village and buried the world in dust, the world had come to an end and he simply had no longer anything to do with it, but it was not the same to her, the world had not come to an end completely, or had and had not, there were other children to take care of, children who did not know anything about the world, you just had to take care of. Her wrinkled face with its hidden anger was before me, anger against all the world, against all people and all things which once showed itself bluntly and without giving a shit and now was hidden and almost tamed, anger against life and being, which for her had become nothing but dragging along, not only dragging along herself_which though but skin and bones only god knows how heavy was_but others too, quiet anger, muffled anger, anger that had now become silent, anger that had lost its vigor and no longer wished to show or reveal itself. I shouldn’t have asked her to tell me how it was when Syawekhsh died. When she paused again, I asked her to leave it. She turned silent. Her gaze was still lost in the faraway, deep places. I tried to remember how she’d been before that morning when a Toyota pickup had sped into the village and the entire world had become all dust, how she’d been without blood pressure, various illnesses, her anger against the world, her bag of pills, her nagging which caused everyone to take her as a bitter, sullen person but was maybe her only weapon against a world which had become nothing but dragging along for her. It was no use; I couldn’t imagine her otherwise, it was even hard to imagine she’s once been otherwise, she’d been the same for thousand years, only her wrinkles had become deeper and her illnesses more varied.

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