"...fahmidam keh sahar shod."
Painting by Hanibal Alkhas*
My friend, the Playboy, calls me long distance to wish me a happy birthday, and tells me that he is in love, again. As usual, I ask him to tell me about her. He says she is the kindest, sweetest angel he has ever met. This is significant, because for the first time in all the years I have known him, he doesn't tell me that she is "sexy, drop-dead-gorgeous, or beeeauuuuutifuuuul." He calls her a "sweet angel." I'm skeptical. I ask him: "Is she pretty?" and he says simply: "She is to me." I have seen my friend "in love" numerous times. Each time, within the distance of our two visits or phone calls, he has fallen out of love with the woman, and when I ask him about the last one he had told me about, he has a hard time remembering which one! Years ago I got tired of giving him advice about women, as he continually insists he knows everything there is to know about us. In fact I know that he knows nothing about women, at least not until this time. I ask him: "How do you know you're really in love this time?" He says: "Because all day long, whatever happens, I want to go call her and tell her about it." Something about that honest statement tugs at my heart. I so want to believe that my friend has found true love this time. Happy for inexplicable reasons, for the first time in the years I have known him I write this one's name in my diary to be sure to ask about her the next time he calls. I write: "Shideh, The Angel."