Sunday, July 22, 2012

when it's empty...

by nooshin azadi

illustration by rhoda penmarq





.

it was early in the morning and i was tired of dreaming... the sun was
shinning amicably so i decided to walk my dog to the beach... there i
unleashed her and we played... i found some pieces of driftwood and
threw them for my dog to fetch... we had a lot of fun on the beach...
everyone did... but the waves rose higher and higher... all of a
sudden i noticed the beach was empty except for the waves washing the
shore...

my dog was lost... i called the police... when they came,
they asked me about my dog's name and her breed... i thought for a
long time just to remember i never had a dog... but the leash?! i
showed it to the policemen... they shook their heads and left... in my
hand there was just my bag... my bag was so heavy... i opened it to
see what i had in it... it was full of banknotes... to lighten my bag,
i decided to spend the money... i got a taxi and went to a good
restaurant... i had an excellent meal and gave a big tip to the waiter
but my bag was still heavy...

i started to walk down the street giving
each pedestrian a banknote... i even dropped some in the mailbox...
but my bag was still heavy... i thought it was better to hand the
money in to the police... when i got to the nearest police station, it
was midnight... i told them the story... they opened my bag just to
find it was crammed with some notebooks... they turned over their
pages one by one which were all closely written with lines of poetry
except for one... they returned the bag and the empty page to me... my
bag was empty now...

so i left... the beach was empty too... i stood
there for a long time with the empty page in my hand... listening to
the waves... a man appeared on the beach out of the blue... staggering
toward me... he had an empty bottle in his hand... "when... it's
empty... throw it... away!", he stammered and threw the bottle into
the waves... but they tossed it back at my feet... the man looked me
in the eye and asked for my bag... his eyes were vacant and gray... i
hesitated for a moment but handed it over... "when it's empty, throw
it away!", i repeated the man's words with a smile... he opened the
bag and gasped joyously... "i will! i will!", he shouted at the top of
his voice as he ran away and vanished in the dark...

to my surprise,
the empty bag was full of banknotes once again... i came to myself by
the empty bottle hitting against my ankle with the waves... the tide
was rising... i put the empty page in the empty bottle and capped it
tightly... then i stepped cautiously into the sea and threw the bottle
as far as i could... i felt the sand under my feet sliding toward the
sea... i liked that feeling of instability... as if i was getting
ready to fly... i just let go of myself... giving in to the waves...
when suddenly i sensed a tight grip on my sleeve... dragging me back
to the shore...

it was my dog... i rose to my feet... staring at her
incredulously... she got up on her hind legs and put her paws on my
shoulders... licking my face and barking happily... the sunlit beach
was crowded now... "let's go home, faith!", i told her as i patted her
on the head... it started to rain lightly... we returned home under
the rain... i found my bag on the doorstep... it was empty again...

.

april 6, 2012





1 comment:

Mary Disney said...

I enjoyed this story.