My Mom and Kandinsky

My mom is beautiful. Last night she creeps into my room. I say creep, because she doesn't like to disturb me. She watches me for a while.

I am looking at Kandinskys on the web. I don't even know why. I can't stop looking. I can't do anything else.

"Pirooz," she says. "What are you doing?"

"Looking at paintings."

She comes and stands next to me.

"Are these your painting?" she asks.

"No," I say. "Kandinsky."

"They're beautiful."

"The most beautiful in the world."

She stands as I scroll through some images. She loves the "Circles" painting. She says how beautiful they are. We look at the paintings for a good while. Then she stops as if an idea has just come to her. She tells me to come sit with her.

"Come, Pirooz," she says. "I want to talk."

We go into the living room. She tells me her worries. She cries a bit. Then the launching starts. Story after story. She talks about a trip to New York City. A forgotten plane ticket. My dad's business trips. How crazy the men in this family are. How crazy I am.

"I save your life, Pirooz. You were so crazy."

I laugh.

"Don't you remember?"


"Come on, boy. You remember. You are blocking it. Don't you remember when you were break from Lynn, and your band is not going together anymore, I tell you to come be with me. I say, 'Pirooz, come stay with me.' But you get so angry. You are like, "NO! I am not going anywhere.' Then one day, you call me and say, 'Mom, I want to come live with you. Come bring the truck.' And I say, 'Thank God,' and I say, 'Pirooz, I do not have truck. I will bring car and we make two trip.' Then I come and we get everything from Lynn's place, and you come home. And, oh my God, Pirooz, you stay in your room day and night. I come in and see you, and you are just looking at the ceiling. Sometime for 10 hours. I say to myself, 'God please save my son.' Then one day you come home and say you want to go to New York. You say mom can I have 50 dollars. And I say, 'Pirooz, I'm sorry honey. I do not have any money.' And you get so crazy. You pick up Panauh's Walkman and you crash it on the ground. Then you take my pot, and it has Shivit Baghali inside, and you just throw it everywhere. I still have this pot. The handle break, but I keep it. And then you crash everything. You go and grab this dish that I keep the candy, this nice crystal, and you take it outside and just crash it."

"Oh, Pirooz, I was so scared. I think my son is really crazy. I run to the bank. I say to you, 'Wait, Pirooz! I am going. I get you the money. I got to the bank like this (shakes her hands), and I get the money. And when I come home I see you have dustbuster and broom, and you are cleaning everything, and I say, 'Here, Pirooz. Here is the money.' "

"Then you say to me, 'Mom am I crazy?' And I say, 'No, honey you are not crazy. You are just depress. Maybe you want to go see psychologist.' And then you say, 'Yes, mom. I want to go to see psychologist, but it has to be a woman, and they have to be this thing, psychiatrist, or psychologist,' you say. I say, 'Thank God,' and for two days I am on the phone to find psychologist, but no one has appointment. Then I go to supermarket, and I see Carla, and she is talking about her son, and say that he is not doing good, and that he see a psychologist who save his life. And I think, 'Oh, thank God, maybe this man save my son life.' But I don't say anything. I just say, 'Is good to have good doctor. Can you give me his number.' And she give it to me. And I call this doctor and I say, 'Please help my son. Do not worry about bill. I pay whatever you need. Please just help my son. Please save his life.' And the doctor say he help."

"Then you go see this doctor, and I see little by little you get better. I call the doctor and I ask, because I do not know if you even go, 'Is he coming?' And he say, 'Oh, yes. He is coming. He is a beautiful boy. Very smart. Very bright.' But he doesn't say anything else. And I think, 'Thank, God.'

"Then one day you come and say you are going to go back to school. And then you go write the letter and you go, and then you move in with Sonny, and then you come to me one day and say, 'I meet this girl Mom. I meet her 6 years ago She is very nice. What do I do?' "

"Because sometime you are still with Lynn. And I say, 'Isn't Lynn with other boy sometime.' And you say, 'Yes." And I say, "Well, then it doen't hurt to go and see.' And you say, 'Okay, mom I go see.'"

"And then you go with Nicole, and everything is nice. And you go to school. And now you are separate, and you are handling so well. You are here. You are so calm. I am so proud of you, son."

"Thanks, mom."

"Yes, all of you are so crazy. I remember one time Paiman come home from school, and he come inside, and I see one second later someone knock the door. I open the door and this woman is here--the one who live with the Indian man--and she is screaming, 'You're F-son! He F this.' And I say, 'What is going on? What happen?' I look at Paiman. I say, 'What did you do?' And he say, 'I didn't do anything.'"

"And this woman is so mad, Pirooz. She is screaming. She say he come and she use the word ---- take his thing, and he just peep right on her tree. 'He take his thing and do it right by my window,' she say."

"And I say, 'I am so sorry.' I look at Paiman, I say, 'Why you do this?' And he say, 'Mom, I try to hold it. I couldn't do it. I was going to explode. You don't know how it is. You are woman. I have to go. This was the best spot.'"

"Oh, it was so funny, Pirooz."

"What happened with the lady?"

"Oh, she was so mad. She say, 'Never again! Do not come near my house. Walk by the road. Don't come to my house again!' She was so mad."

We all laugh. The well has been unleashed though. My mom continues.

"And Panauh, Oh my gosh. He box everyone. One day I see he come home, and then one second later, I hear the ring. These people come who are parents of--what is his name Ben, Brian--"

"Ben ****," my brother says.

"Yes, they are mad. But they are not like that lady. They just say, 'Your son come and box are son, and his nose is bleeding, and we have to go to hospital.' And I turn to Panauh, I say, "Panauh why you do this?" And he say, 'I didn't do anything.'"

"And then these parent confront him, and I say again, 'Why you do this?' And he say, 'He call me gay.'"

"Oh, Pirooz, how many boy he hit. So many. He box so many boy they have a meeting at school. I come and is seven people and one chair for me and I sit. They say, 'If one more time your son box someone, we going to send him to boot camp.' Then I come home and tell Panauh, and the guidance counselor he call Panauh. And then he understand this is real, because we go see a commercial on TV, on this boot camp, and he get scared, and then he doesn't box too much anymore."

My mom stops her storytelling. She looks at the clock. She is right on time.

"Come, Pirooz. Come let us go see this Barbara Walters. Tom cruise is coming."

I prop pillows on the bed, and she lies down. We watch the whole special together. I am moved by Kanye. Jamie Foxx seems to be doing good. My mom persk up when Tom Cruise comes on the screen.

"You love Tom Cruise," I say.

"No," she tells me. "I like him because he look just like you."

I smile. I turn back to the Kandinsky on the screen.


JWG said...


Mary Rachel said...

i love mamas.
are you sure you're not southern?

Stacy Elaine said...

you and jim are tied for the loveliest of lovely. beautiful. both of you. i'm amazed.

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

J--Perfect, really? It all is, isn't it? Life. Mmmm.

MR--No, I'm a Persian boy with a Southern heart.

Isn't that funny? I like it. I think I will change my About Me excerpt to include that. It is who I am.

SD--You kiss yourself today? Sometimes I kiss my arms when they least expect it. They get really happy.

Mary Rachel said...'re a very good storyteller. The repetition of the 3 brothers coming home to your mom. Why do I think of fairy tales with the number 3? 3 billy goats, 3 bears, 3 little piggies,

Stacy Elaine said...

dear p,

i miss you. lets have tea and tell little stories and have a fun sunday tommorrow morning!!

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

MR--My favorite stories are where you can't see the morale, or there isn't any morale at all. At least until you go through something and think of the story 3 years later...

You're sitting on a subway. You're like, Was that my life? Is that my story? Then you remember and you go "Mmmm" and you go home and you say "Mmmm" again and even when you pick up the book before you start reading there is a voice inside you humming.

This slow drone is a perfect story. It is the one I will not ever write. It has no beginning or end.

It is 3 brothers. It is Tehran, Iran. It is America. It is freedom. It is conflict. It is choice. It is hope.

It is words like these built on top of one another. Words that come and go like an open hand. Words that whisper and tell me of possiblity. Words that wish they were not words at all.

This chord. These 3 notes.

Everyday I sit and look for them.

I hope I can play them together. I hope I can hear them. I hope they last longer than a moment.

Then the moment passes. Then hope passes.

Now I take my best shot. It is all I know. It is life and death. It is a simple drone. It is the hum beneath the chord. It is "Mmmm" again.

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your art. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for breaking me into a million pieces. Thank you for your harmony. Thank you for your kindness.

May your Southern heart break the world into tiny pieces. May it lead me to the drone when I can't see it. May your photographs show me the number 3.

May the number 3 face itself. May it lie on its side. May it be played by both of us, so that 1 more voice can hum.

May we all say "Mmmm" again. May we all say it together.

Love and Harmony Like a Stevie Wonder Song in the Key of Me,


P.S. No idea where this came from. Thank you for triggering it. Isn't it amazing how important community is? How valuable it is to talk to one another? To cheer each other on. Thank you for being a cheerleader. It was at a moment when I needed it. May this letter be a wave. May it move across your stadium. May it show my gratitude. Kisses. Hope to see you soon.

SD--I will see you tommorow, Miss Thang. I have had a crazy week. I will tell you all about it. Right now I go to my first film shoot. Can you believe it? Nothing major. At least I don't think. Just trying to find other ways to make money. Other ways to keep painting and writing. Acting seems to be the logical choice at the moment. Slightly, illogical too. But, it's working. I will tell you about it tomorrow. So much. 10,000 hugs, P.

Mary Rachel said...

You like stories how I like complete black or complete white.....its the grey inbetween that keeps you going "Mmmmmm". And when you go "Mmmmmm" and squint your eyes enough to make it fuzzy like christmas lights in Morvern Callar.....that's when something important comes out.....maybe even the number 3.

I think our community would make a great roller derby team.

Congrats on your book! you used stevie wonder.....damn, that's fantastic.

miss dacheux.....i'm photoshopping like a hurricane. will send them tomorrow.

love to y'all both.

3d chat said...

I like story + photographs.

nice book..

thanks for sharing such information here.