An unstable Goodbye (Jeiran – SST7 Final Draft)

7 Jul

 An unstable Goodbye.

Not yet settled.

i. The Plane

I left Ashgabat, begging that this would be our last sunset.

It was warm,orange. Like the camel wool carpets that used to attempt comfort at my toes.

My 14 year old fingers, trace the last spills of of sunshine,


desperate for a  civil goodbye.

Somewhere, in a notebook I record it for future treasuring.

My mother later rips out the page on my ancestors.



ii. The Airport.

The stewardess chases me down, and hands me my forgotten watch.

She’ll memorize me. The only other native. She’ll memorize my flight number.

She’ll report  back at  Ashgabat’s airport. My name has grown familiar there. She’ll declare that I, a traitor, betrayed my country yet again.

I watch the last of the flight crew cross the border.



iii. The Border.

My mother told me not to speak. I look at the officer and my feet dig themselves into the ground, my pulse suddenly thick with guilt.

A sigh that sounded like  way too much like  “Oh god, why do I have to deal with this on my shift.”  or even louder still, the grunting “You don’t belong here.” or the glance to the co-worker that said “What were they thinking?”

I become scared, because my goodbyes don’t seem final enough.



iv. The waiting room

My nose gauges the officers’ auras. It tastes as stale as the 3am air around us.

There is a reason they wanted this job. and it wasn’t to be nice.

I guess because I was a child they weren’t so harsh to me.

I am not manhandled, not grilled with toxic questions like they do with my mother. I still feel required to answer for her.

A waiting room away, the soundproofed walls can’t block out the way I can hear or imagine my mother crying under a harsher light. In that dim waiting room, that faced the Birmingham runway, my  heart kept on buzzing–

It was cold, Ashgabat’s weather left us underdressed for the airport’s unheated ndoors. There was a TV there. When my mother finally fell asleep on the bench I figured the remote and switched to bbc3.

Who knew returning to Eastenders would be so soothing?



v. 2014

The Average law abiding humans, have their  fingers printed 0 times throughout their life.

Mine have been recorded seven times in several different locations.

That day  was one of them.

I felt like a criminal.


My 1am  tired face photoshoot said a lot when they were  shown to me two years later.

“This was you.”

They will say, as if I am not her no longer.

Of course, they have some truth.



October 27th 2011.

all that buzzed through my heart was–

Hostility never felt so much like home.





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