CHAPTER 18 (continued)

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

transformation definition

When you show the hidden part of yourself, you sometimes start to see the parts that others hide of themselves. – Hasina Transformation

“I really need a coffee”, I say as my thoughts are enough to fatigue me. “Did you have a late night?” I hear Farnaz asking me. The look on her face is soft and concerned. I reply to her but I don’t even remember what I said. I keep thinking that she seems so different. She offers to share a piece of cake with me and I am momentarily stunned into silence. My brain is thinking but for a long time I can’t answer. Farnaz is the type of woman who intimidated me. She is educated and outspoken, confident and meticulous. She seems like the kind of women who could go to gym at 5am, before driving in rush hour traffic to get to work, then chair business meetings and close big deals before coming home to cook a gourmet meal and seduce her husband. To say that I felt inadequate around her is an understatement. I nodded agreeing to her offer, dumbly, hoping my inferiority wasn’t apparent.

The ladies all appear to be getting along well, and I surf the conversation skimming the top but trying not to get sucked in. Mumtaz suggests a game of 30 seconds and I quickly exclude myself by volunteering to keep score. The ladies start to get involved and even Farnaz seems to be enjoying herself. I begin to watch them as an outsider. My gaze searches the room for something interesting to fixate on and I see a book on a table across the room. With a pencil and paper in front of me , the overwhelming feeling to sketch takes hold of me. I feel like a teenager again, looking at the world through the lead of a pencil and I begin. The book I sketch is open and its sits on the table. I wonder what it would be like to be that book – open for everyone to read. I want them to know what is in my pages. I sketch a pair of some old fashioned glasses resting on the pages keeping them tame as the breeze lifts the pages. I feel that familiar frisson of excitement as an image begins to form. I darken and outline, shade and texture. I haven’t sketched in so long but it feels like my hands have a memory and seem to move on its own. I make soft short strokes, trying to bring this picture alive. Can I do it? I think to myself. I imagine myself as the book? I draw a cup tipped on its side. The liquid from it spilled over, drawing close to the book. Will it ruin the book before someone can read it. Will I disappear before I can be heard? I make some final strokes and look at it.

I had never been able to judge my own work. My mother would be the one to always do that. How I wish that she was here to tell me what she thinks. When I look at the page I see an incomplete picture. There isn’t much detail, and it looks a little cliché.

“So whats the score?” I am nudged in the shoulders by Amina and pulled back to reality. “er. “ I hesitate. The scores , Shit! I think. “I lost track I say” looking around at the other ladies. They seem not to really care and are laughing and smiling. Mumtaz shrugs her shoulders , “it’s obvious we won”, she says to her partner and a few agree before returning to conversation. I sigh relieved.

I take a sip of my coffee just as Farnaz catches a glimpse of my drawing. My inner Chachima suddenly comes to life and screams a dramatic and drawn out NO! in my head. I weigh my options in my head: Accidentally spill coffee on the drawing, or Scream out in pain and insist to be taken to the emergency room. Before I can decide on a suitable plan, she speaks. She says, “Wow”.


coffee cup     beginning






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