Issue 1

Roshanak Pashaee

      Hamid kisses me here and he kisses me there. Hurriedly! He kisses me on the road driving at 120 kph and he kisses me on the pedestrian bridge over Vali-asr Street with the traffic moving like a snail beneath us. When he is kissing me on the elevator, the door opens and I take a quick step away. A plump woman gets on. She is carrying a cactus. The three of us stare at the cactus until we reach the 3rd floor. The woman gets off. Hamid takes a quick step towards me.

      "Come closer," the gynecologist says.
      The secretary wouldn’t accept my insurance. She was scribbling something in her notebook which was next to a plate full of alluring chocolate doughnuts and croissants. I dropped the card back into my bag.
      I try to slide myself down some more. The table I am lying on looks more like a dentist’s chair but has two horizontal pedals at the lower end on which you are supposed to put the soles of your feet so that your thighs are wide apart. My jeans and panties are lying next to me on a bed with a white cover. I wonder where the clothes hanger is. Opposite where I am lying there is a glass cabinet which reflects the light. I can't quite make out what‘s inside. On my right, the gynecologist is putting on her gloves. I can’t see a hanger. There must be a hanger somewhere.
      "Closer, come closer."
      I slide even closer until it is practically impossible to bend my knees any more and still keep my feet on the pedals. It feels strange to be lying there with my manto and scarf still on and my bottom so exposed. She leans in close.
      "Now remove that."
      I have tried to cover myself with my Manto. Something comforts me though: I am well-shaved. She turns a spotlight on and peers down through her thick glasses. I don't think even Hamid has looked that close. He just kisses and licks, and when I tell him to be careful he says he is careful, so careful that I needn`t worry.
      Isn't that something they say to women in labor? Ceremoniously, the gynecologist takes my labia in her hands, and pulls sideways with all her might.

      "You are open," Hamid said.
      "Nothing," lets do something new.

      "Relax, relax."
      How can I relax when I am in so much pain?

      "Relax baby," Hamid said sitting on my back. When he penetrated, I screamed.
      "Are you alright?"
      "I said to relax…" the gynecologist says. I want to scream. But the secretary is sitting too close by.
      "I said R-E-L-A-X."
      I shouldn’t have come here. I should have let it go.
      "Listen. I have a girl of your age."
      I wonder if she knows I am thirty now.
      "What if he leaves you?"
      I have started to sweat. Is Hamid leaving me? "Are you leaving me?" The light from the lamp on the ceiling is right in my eyes. I look away. The phone rings. Now I hear the secretary's voice. I can picture her biting into a doughnut while answering the phone.
      I am being torn in two and she is standing there with her gloves on looking so serious. Now she is applying gauze. I see the blood.
      "Because you didn't relax you have a slight tear. It has nothing to do with the hymen. I'll give you cream for it. "
      "It's deep inside. It is not damaged..."
      Now I have a tear.

      "I have a tear."
      "Where's that?"
      "Don’t know. Somewhere…"
      “Where did you get it?”
      “At the gynecologists”
      “Why did you go to the gynecologist?”
      “Are you alright?”
      "Let me see your tear."
      "Be careful."
      "I am careful. I am very very careful," Hamid says as he comes closer.