07-02-07- In the first days that I’d gotten the house, I said to the old landlord, may he rest in peace (not too long ago, I saw his obituary and he’s passed on) I told him you have to get rid of these pigeons. He said, don’t worry, any day now, Mr. Reza and his pigeons will go away. But even to the last day that we left, Mr. Reza, the pigeon handler was still there. Every so often, without permission, he would enter our yard and with great fanfare, he’d water and feed his pigeons. Several other friends who would sometimes come over and without permission would go up on the rooftop. It bothered me that I’d bought this high priced house but I didn’t have control over our domain. Several times I’d changed the lock on the yard and rooftop, and my brother, Habiballah, who was a welder made sure the lock was firmly in place. But a day or two later, I’d see that the lock and the pipe it was welded to were both in the hallway. Maybe, during the time I was there, they had ruined more than ten locks. I saw there was no other way, and I made him key so that he could come whenever he, please. But that wasn’t the answer either. Because his brother, whose name was Golam, and was an addict, using the electric tower to climb the walls of the schoolhouse would come in at night and sleep in one of the classrooms. Several times I pleaded with his father, for a few days he’d disappear and then show up again. Many times I’d come in the morning and would wake him from sweet sleep to kick him outside the school so that the students could start their class.
On Fridays, when the schools were completely under their control, and if on Friday I had something to do, I’d dread setting a foot on the school grounds.
One morning that Shah Golam, that same addict that I like to call the Shah of the slaves, was in one of the classrooms laid out on a student desk and bench sleeping. And in the back of the classroom, he had propped a desk under the locked door and wouldn’t leave the room. The entire class was standing behind the door. Upset, I opened the door and said “Leave!”. With a sleepy voice, he said “I won’t”. I repeated “Leave this class and the school!” and with a louder voice he yelled, “I’m sleepy and I’m not going!”. When I argued more vehemently he sat up at his desk and said “Afghani, I’ll hit you”. Even though I was scared I said “Please go”. When he saw that I wouldn’t back down, he left the room and went to the yard where many parents were standing around. He started cursing at me, the more he cursed the more I said: “Please leave!”.
In the end, when he realized that even with his cursing I wasn’t backing down he said “You Afghani jerks, you’re all here to spy for the united states! I’m going to report you!”
His cursing, especially occurring in the middle of all the parents, bothered me. But this last line made me laugh. It was interesting to me that this transient addict could so well understand the politics and ways of customs to get rid of others/to kick out/something grand.