Abass came knocking at my door early one morning. I was so delighted to see him. He was in the process of moving his family to California
. They left with their moving van some time ago, but I knew he would be coming back to sell the house which is just across the street.
He gave me a big hug when he entered my house. Midst the greeting process I told him my book was published. I showed him a copy of it and he was properly impressed with the beauty of it. We did some exciting talking about how his wife and children were liking California. He reported that they liked it very much and I mentally accepted the fact that they would not be coming back.
"Are you going to sell your house then?" I asked. He still was not sure. It had been his family home for several decades, their spot here in America as they were weaving their adjustment away from Iran.
He had to hurry on with people to meet and decisions to make. He asked if he could keep the book. "Of course," I replied. "It is for your family and you should recognize which stories are about you and your family."
He left in a hurry with much to do about cleaning up the house and making decisions. They had left in a hurry, driving through with one of their cars. One of his workmen had volunteered to drive the moving van through for the opportunity to see the land that is America.
I waited patiently for him to contact me. He knew, of course, that I would like to feed him and do other things that a friendly neighbor would like to do.
"Why," I wondered. "Why doesn't he call me?"
This went on for some time. Finally, I called him. He uses a cell phone for all of his communications, and I had his number. He turned down all of my suggestions to help him.
I tried to figure out why this was happening. Finally I looked up the most important story in my book that was about him. I had not read my book after it was published. I knew the stories too well. Members of my Support Team had helped with the proofing. All of it had been proofed by at least two different people. I had helped with it, but I knew that proof reading is not my forte.
His story had gaps and repetitions! "No wonder he is angry!" I told myself. I did not think I could just call him and apologize. Nothing would make any difference. So I just left him alone. He left without saying goodbye.
I kept an eye on his property thinking I could call for help if anyone was doing harm to the property. Cars came and went and lights were on and off sporadically. I knew he was planning to bring his family back for a family wedding sometime in June, but I did not see any sign of that. Finally I did see a man working in back to collect junk. I knew he probably did not speak English but I decided to try to find out when Abass would be around.
I was right. He did not know English. I tried to signal my questions with gestures, but I got nowhere. He simply could not help me! As I turned around to leave who should come up to greet me but Abass himself! We greeted each other with a hug and I took advantage of the situation to apologize for my book. "Your book is fine!" he explained. "I have two sisters who were determined to keep me safe. They did not want me to get involved with anyone, especially you!"
Well, I am glad it was not my book. In a way, I have never been so flattered. Don't they know that I am 89 years old?