The Beautiful Old Lady Next Door
The beautiful old lady told me in Tehran: "Nazy Khanoom. I have a grandson who is a ballet dancer.....in New York." She reached behind her chair and from tens of pictures of several members of her family performing onstage, picked up a black and white picture and handed it to me. My eyes rested on a handsome young man in great form in ballet attire. There was something really amazing about the young man's eyes. He was looking directly at the camera, with a sense of purpose, with great poise, and with haunting eyes.
Among the thousands of memories I have kept in my head and in my heart, that day, that little chat over tea, that lovely old lady's face filled with pride, and the picture of that young dancer, found a spot and became lodged. It was another 14 years before I pulled that memory out of my head and got started looking for the dancer. I looked and I searched, and I couldn't find him. But the memory wouldn't let me forget him. I wanted to find him. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to know why he was lost to the rest of us. I wanted to know why he wouldn't make an effort to be found. I wanted to know about him and feel proud, for he was not only that young man in the picture, he was the one looking at whose picture had brought a huge tear drop of sadness and pride to the old lady's eyes. I wanted to find him and tell him that. I searched and searched until I found him. He now wanted to be found. I told him my story. He told me his.