Love-making in Footnotes

Love-making in Footnotes

2004, Cheshmeh Publication, third edition

Love-making in Footnotes

 

In this story, love-making happens. Love-making appears in lieu of a ginseng which reeves me through the lines. I, my lover and some movies and stories are going to mingle in each other, in a way that we’ll never be distinguishable.

I have short brown hair sticking on my temple and forehead. I weigh forty five kilos and when I wear high heels I’m almost six feet tall. I got my M.A in Literature from Azad University. For some years I stayed at home, till I got familiar with my lover at a party in one of my relatives’ garden. My lover has drunken eyes and he is a clerk at Central Bank. He’s tall and so much sociable. He has no other distinctive characteristics, but his constant playing with his mustache tips. In a corner of the garden he beholds me with his languid, decent and absorbing eyes. Coquettishingly bashful, I get away with my head down. He follows me and offers me the goblet. Our glances cross as I take the goblet from my lover. So gently, my lover draws my hand and fills my goblet with something like wine.1

(for better comprehension of this part you may refer to Mohammad Tajvidi’s miniature on page23 in Hafiz complete works, rectified by Allame Qazvini and Dr. Qasem Qani, 23rd edition; the moment which the man, with a flowing desire in his eyes, claws the woman’s skirt as he points the goblet to her and the woman, as far as possible, turns her face from him as she turns to the opposite side. In spite of all these things, it is obvious that a concealed flowing of desire is lying under her skin. 

And this hidden desire is also realizable in the way she looks the man out of the corner of her eyes. It seems that the woman has been waiting for this moment for years. And now that she has the chance to quench her desire, in spite of her blushed cheeks, she tries to pretend she’s cool and dispassionate. The man of course doesn’t care and he stares at the woman like Hafiz puts in his love poem: “disheveled, addicted, and drunk and with smiling lips/ bold, lyrist with a goblet in his hand”. The man doesn’t give a damn about the record of his face in the history as a fool and sordid one.)

In a forty meters rented apartment in Hafez St, Me and my lover are sitting by the TV screen watching one of “Emergency Helicopter” series. In the most critical moment of the story I get up, go to the bedroom and wear a red robe. And I stand in front of the TV combing my hair and in reply to my lover’s grumbling I seductively stare at him. He smiles, but he still wants to follow. I unplug the TV.2

(for better comprehension of this part you may refer to Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American”, translated by Ezzatollah Fooladvand, Kharazmi Publication, first edition, page 143; where Pyle asks Fowler, the experienced English journalist: “what is the most profound sexual experience you’ve ever had?”

And Fowler replies to that young quiet American: “Early one morning I had lain in bed and I was watching a woman in a red robe brushing her hair.”

At that moment, all the erotic sense of that wise English man was focalized on this scene. The scene that very likely, he had not experienced with any of his lovers before. But at the moment in the tower with two Vietnamese soldiers and that quiet American when he was staying up all night with the dread of Viet Cong’s attack, it was the only image occurring to his disheveled mind. Possibly at that moment he wasn’t thinking of any specific lovers of his. Neither of Fuong that beautiful Vietnamese phoenix and nor of his English beloved. That image was the consequent of all the amorous moments the English man had experienced ever.)

Me and my lover are sitting in a coast café sipping our cappuccino. My lover is wearing a white t-shirt clung to his body in humid weather. I’m wearing a green manteaux and I’ve put a big white magnolia between two buttons of my manteaux. The aroma of magnolia which I put on my chest, the fragrance of cappuccino rising from my cup and the humid smell of sea, they all mingle together and make me dizzy. I put my fingers on my temples and I take a deep breath. My lover looks at me with his eyes replete with worry. I tell my lover to re-describe the incident of that girl and boy who were drowned. He replies that since yesterday he’s described the incident five times and he’s had enough.3

(for better comprehension of this part you may refer to “Moderato Cantabile” by Marguerite Duras, translated by Reza Seyyed Hosseini, Zaman Publication, first edition 1974, page 89; where the distressed Desbaresdes in that décolleté with a magnolia on her chest leaves dinner table in order to go to the café in the harbor for another wineglass beside Chauvin and to ask him, for the last time, to re-tell the story of the young couple.  That moment for Anne Desbardes, is the first moment she realizes the magical power of both wine and magnolia and at the same time, the unbelievable undeniable analogy between wine and magnolia, love and ennui. At that moment, Anne Desbardes discovers that in the first look the scent of magnolia appears to be innocent like that of wine, but after some times surrounds all over the mind, in a fashion that there’ll be no room for a single feeling or thought, and this is the impression she grasps at that very moment: intoxicated by the scent of magnolia, wine and a mind incapable of thinking but of love.  At the moment, her mind is piled up with love and with that magnolia scent as well, and with ennui of course, which has conquered her mind just like love and untimely as that.)

Me and my lover are in our forty meters apartment. My lover is lying on the sofa with a glass full of ice on his chest and a cigarette up to his lips. He stares at ceiling and replies to my questions with short incoherent answers. I’m sitting on the sofa with my feet hanging over its elbow and I’m nervously turning the pages of “Art and Decoration”. I tell my lover not to shake his cigarette on the floor. He doesn’t react and he again shakes his cigarette on the floor as he stares at the ceiling. With crossed arms I stand over him and look at him angrily. He smiles while he’s still staring at the ceiling. I shout at him that I’m tired of his acts and I’m sick and tired of him and the glass he all the time holds in his hands. My lover wears his pants and ties his belt as he swears below his breath. I’m standing in front of the door not to let him out and tell him he’d better stop and no more playing the roles of Hollywood heroes who are tired of their beloveds. With a quick move he pushes me aside, shuts the door and goes out.4

(for better comprehension of this scene don’t refer to happy ending American movies at all, because unlike Jane Fonda or Julia Roberts I don’t follow my lover to find him in a park or in one of the cafes around and make him come back home. When my lover leaves home I play the CD of Richard Strauss’ “Salome”, stretch down on the sofa and skim through the pages of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome”, and I start the “dance of seven veils” as Herodias asks Salome to dance to that jubilant night. And in the end I grab the picture of my lover which is on the TV and kiss my lover’s lips as Salome embraces the cut head of John and kisses his lips which she was unable to kiss them when he was alive. My vengeful sadistic feeling at the moment is not less than Salome’s feeling towards John.)

Me and my lover are lying in bathtub surrendering our bodies to the gentle warmth rises from the bathtub and we’re placidly smoking. My lover talks on and on and I reply with a dumb smile and a dumber voice. I’ve closed my eyes, still thinking about hours ago and I think to myself what would happen to my lover when he knows what I’m thinking about now. Even imagining his reaction fills me with terror. My lover says he’d better get out of the bathtub not to catch cold.5

(for better comprehension of this part you may refer to the motion picture “Unfaithful” directed by Adrian Lynn; the sequence in which the woman lies in bathtub and suddenly sees something written on her belly. The writing was mischievously written on her belly by his lover, when she was asleep. Surely it is the most prominent moment in developing process of her and his husband relationship. Till that moment everything is just naughtiness or even a joke. But she realizes the magical power of secrecy as she grabs the sponge to clean the image of the stabbed heart and her name.  From then on she steps into another circle of this maze. Before that, in trance or intoxication, she might confess all to her husband, but after that, she conceives ecstasy and joy of betrayal. The fact that it was possible to her husband to see the writing sooner- but he didn’t of course- evokes the joy of risk taking like a lying serpent in depth of her self, and makes her play with fire more than before.)

Me and my lover, arm in arm, are coming back from a party. I’m wearing a blouse with a notched collar and my lover is wearing jeans and t-shirt as usual. We both loudly sing “Tonight Is the Moonlight’s”. Sometimes we stagger and we grab each other’s arms in order to keep balance and sometimes we titter. My lover frowns when he reaches the word “my lover” and with an absolute serious face, points his finger at me and addresses me. I sing with him in a higher octave.6

(for better comprehension of this part you’d better refer to the starting scene of the motion picture, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” In that scene, both Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton try to hide their feelings towards each other along with smut talks which may easily lead to swears if they’re not careful enough. Of course oblivion comes to help. Oblivion helps the memories of the past change, sometimes to aid the wounded feeling or mind. A sense excited from loss of child or an abortion, or a betrayal which has never been truly divulged though never been denied.)

Me and my lover are sitting in the apartment desperately smoke cigarettes. More wearied, I stretch out on the sofa and more dejected he lies beside the fireplace, both smoking cigarettes. Dejection is like a ginseng reeving our limbs.  I suggest that it’s better for one of us to forsake the other, because in this part of the story, usually one of the lovers leaves the other one. My lover rolls back and says he’s tired of loitering in the streets and suggests if I’m the tired one I’m the one who leaves. I remind my lover that usually in these situations it’s the man who leaves home. But he doesn’t accept and in return of my persistence, just looks at me with his drunken eyes. I tell him that I can’t keep on smoking desperately like this and I’m sick and tired of his desperate smoking. My lover desperately puffs his cigarette again and says that nothing but smoking cigarettes can picture dejection in such a beautiful fashion. I go to the bedroom as my upper lip throbs due to my indignation, and play the CD of Chopin’s sonata in B flat minor and lie down on the bed thinking of some trivial matters.7

(if Wim Wenders starts the film from some sequences earlier, where the couple of the story is entangled in boredom, you may refer to his movie “Paris, Texas”. But now you’d better refer to this very sonata of Chopin in B flat minor, where the harp notes remind the sound of monotonous rain and Chopin’s ennui in Majorca Island. Chopin was only thinking of one thing when he was sitting by the piano composing the boring destructive notes of this sonata in that 16th century villa, which was located on the rocks: ennui. Ennui of love. An unavoidable boredom which encumbers man after a long period of loving, after betrayals, thoughtlessness, oblivions, quarrels, intoxications and trances, and leaves no choice but to put the boring notes -which bear the ecstasy of a storm- in writing; just like Chopin who -regardless of George Sands’ peevishness- listens to monotonous sound of rain and the clash between waves and rocks. Although George Sands was probably writing the story of a beloved who kills her lover tediously in the very next room. Even though I believe that if Chopin and George Sands had gone to Arles Island instead of Majorca- where Van Gogh painted his beautiful Sunflowers- before ruining of their relationships and before getting involved in ennui, they would have turned to such frenzied men and one would surely has killed the other or at least- like Van Gogh who cut his own ear- one of the two would maimed or cut one of his limbs.)

 

Works:

- The Voices(1998, Khayam Publication)(ISBN 964-6101-20-8)

- The Grey Spell(2002, Ofoq Publication, second edition)

- Love-making in Footnotes(2004, Cheshmeh Publication, third edition)

- The license of 4th edition was nullified in August 12, 2006

- Don’t You Worry?(2008, Cheshmeh Publication, 11th edition)(ISBN 978-964-362-503-3). The book is translated to Swedish under the title of “Var Inte Orolig” by Robab Moheb and will be published soon by Editorial l’Aleph (Iran Open Publishing Group)

 

- The book was banned in Tehran International Book Fair in May 9, 2011

Love-making in Footnotes books