Seventh Edition September 2004 - Shahrivar 1383

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> New Religious Thought and Feminism - Alireza Alavitabar

> Rediscovery of the "Self" in Iranian Weblogs
> Modeling Marriage in Family Magazines
> Speech Ensemble
> Earthquake Aftermath
> Shirin Ebadi Book Excerpt
> 2 Short Stories

Bad Jens past editions:

Azadeh Babaii-Fard

It is cold. It is raining. What a crowd. Everyone's looking at me. People are going, people are coming, everyone's looking at me. Am I pretty? I touch my lips. Why am I not wearing lipstick. I wish I had. I caress my skin. It's fresh. My head is aching. The person walking ahead of me draws my attention. Everyone's looking at her. I wanna see her. Is she pretty? A voice says something to me. It sounds like the voice is referring to that part of me. The voice is drowned in the other noises. My feet are getting cold. My pants are too tight. I wish they weren't so tight.

The sky is gray. Cars are honking. I'm about to get hit by a car. I hanker for a red, steaming beet. Someone touches my hand. I look back. So many people. Someone hits me hard on my left breast. I look at my breast. It's still there. Does touching my coat excite you? The girl stops. She turns around. She's not pretty. Her bleached hair falls over her face. I like her. We stare at each other for a few minutes. She waves at me. I smile. She approaches me. Maybe I'll take her in my arms. She passes me by. Now she's behind me. Someone is waiting for her. It's a man. A wrinkled man. A wrinkled man with huge feet. My head hurts. I have to stand in line. All the cabs are full. Everyone's moving quickly. Where do I wanna go? At last a cab shows up. Next to me is a man with a Samsonite. He looks at me. I look at her. I feel something moving. It is a hand, a hand that moves from beneath the Samsonite. It is now touching my leg. What do I see? I look back at the hand for a few seconds. The man is smiling. The cab driver is frazzled. My outcry must have been very loud. The man gets out. My hands are shaking. My veins are frozen. Where am I? I look at my feet. I put my hands on my legs. I hug myself. I roll down the window. I take a breath. It's cold. I want to shower. I feel dirty.

The house is warm. I take off my shirt. I pull off my pants. I roll down my underwear. Such warm water. Fog covers the windowpane. A trickle of blood drips down my leg. Blood hits the water. The water turns red. I look at my toes. I put my hand on my belly. My belly hurts. No, it's not the right time. My skin is covered with goose bumps. I look down at my erect nipples. I place a hand over my chest. My heart is beating fast. Don't think of stupid things. Think of me. I lay down in the tub, in the water, in the blood. It is red. It is warm.

The Grey Tunnel
Azadeh Babaii-Fard

Sitting on the bed
And looking at the purple irises in the wastebasket.

White-robed women in the corridor with their pink lipsticks wave at me. The picture on the cracked wall tells me to be silent and I want to remove the glasses off the tip of her nose so she cannot see me anymore.

The cleft lipped man in the taxi turns around and smiles. Beneath a drab mustache I catch his yellowing teeth falling off one by one. He puts out his cigarette with the car door and the wind covers my face with its ashes. I can't see anything anymore.

When I open my eyes, the sky is red and I never thought that the sky could turn red and I never thought the wind could carry me miles away from the city.

A millipede is walking parallel to my feet and I feel a strong urge to kill her. There's a run in her cream-color stocking and instead of killing her I pull out my nail polish and offer it.

I am very tired; too tired to wave back at the white-robed women in the corridor, too tired to climb the orange covered plane tree across the street to check out the boy next door.

When I go away, I will live in the gray tunnel of my grandmother's house and the wind won't be able to throw me around anymore.

Nor will the cleft lipped man find me.

Not even the cleft lipped man in the taxi.