/16 Iran

Hadi Fallahpisheh

Looking for Khosrow

As is his habit, Khosrow, my childhood buddy demanded to meet. We usually meet at the backboard that we had made together at my house. When I invited him to come in, he said no, and he preferred to be outdoors. As I got in the car, he trembled, warning me about the earthquake. He wanted to evacuate and asked me to join within the hour. I declined because of the important match tomorrow; I couldn’t strand my team. I asked him to wait until after the game, but he told me: “I can’t stay.” I didn’t go. At breakfast, the local police came by wanting information on Khosrow’s hideout. I told them, “He left the city last night,” but they believed otherwise. The Police said: “Khosrow must surrender.” They did not say what crime he committed, but they insisted he is somewhere nearby, and demanded all of my pictures of him for clues. I was surprised to realize I had so few. I was warned not to leave town and be available. I returned to my room, looked through my remaining photos, and looked at the luggage which I packed and was supposed to take with me had I left with Khosrow. We were best friends, weren’t we? Why didn’t I go with him last night? How come he did not tell me the truth? Sometimes I forget, here everything means something else. I thought that if Khosrow is still in our hometown, that I will find him. So I started to list possible places and people who may have contact. First, I visited his younger brother who works at a garage at a motorcycle track. After yakking about random things for a while, I slyly asked, “how is Khosrow by the way, what is he doing these days?” He said that he was visited by the police too, but that since he has slept here in the back for two weeks, he had no idea. Next up was his soccer practice, and onto his restaurant job. Late at night, I went there but there was no sign of Khosrow. I spied a police. Were the police and I thinking similarly? Were they watching me? I decided to act more cautiously and consider what the police have less access. I invited Khosrow’s ex-girlfriends under the pretext of taking photos of them. If someday I find Khosrow, I’ll tell him that his girlfriends had not have anything to say about him, but whining and grumbling. He had a lot of girlfriends. I am glad, and almost forgot. One of them, when she found out that I play basketball too and I cook very well, fell for me! But I was on a mission, finding my friend, Khosrow. While looking for Khosrow, I started re-photographing our life together. I had to tease out the scenes as I visited each site. I considered our moments to be like puddles after the rain, but trying to document them a bit later they had all vanished. I discovered though that if I plan strategically some of them return to the exact same spot others are unreliable. Khosrow has still not returned and the police gave up looking for him. Why he was not important for police anymore? I didn’t find Khosrow, but the lights that helped him to find his way: star light, the sun, lamps, candles, matches, catch lights and flashes.