Practicing from the Heart in the age of Technology - All articles and poems are by Reza Ghadimi, unless otherwise noted.
On a hot summer night, a long time ago
I found myself walking across the city to escape the heat.
In the store windows, displays were inviting and mannequins smiling
A shoe store reminded me that I needed a new pair.
A jewelry store displayed only empty boxes of earrings, bracelets and watches.
The shiny goods that exhibited their allure in the day
Were safely locked in the back.
Wandering on, I found myself in an old part of town,
Quieter and darker streets, with Mom & Pop shops.
The glow of a cigarette on the stairs to a building stopped me.
I stared, trying to see the person sitting there - too dark.
The scent of cheap perfume mixed with tobacco smoke suggested a female.
She smoked silently, but even the glow of her cigarette
Did not reveal details of her face.
“Can I get a smoke from you?” I asked
With some rustling, she retrieved one and lit it.
A dark-skin hand emerged from the shadow and passed it to me.
I inhaled the smoke deep and slowly. Not being a smoker,
The euphoric spirit of the tobacco seeped through my body.
“Thank you!” I said and moved on
Feeling dizzy as I walked past closed and dark stores.
I stopped by an antique shop, where the glow of a low red light
Reveled several old items. An old steam iron, a treadle, several knives, etc.
The city behind me reflected in the store window.
A slow blinking red light atop a tall building
Called my attention to the reflection and my silhouette in between.
I watched the contradiction of the old and the new and me.
The noise of the cars crossing the bridge, surprised me
As I realized that I had walked across much of the city.
I reached the bridge as the feathery rays of dawn lit the horizon.
Stopping mid-bridge, I studied the reflection of the city in the river
All the people living and working there had desires, wants and wishes.
Wanted someone to love and be loved, be seen, noticed and needed.
A strange thing, feeling lonely in a crowd. But many do.
The city was coming awake as I rushed across and caught a train home.
It was many years ago, when it was safe to walk the city at night, and
I remember that hot muggy night
Not for all the discomforts, nor for my night walk across it
But for a dark-skin hand reaching from the shadows silently and giving me a cigarette.
I wondered if she was smiling or annoyed.
People can shine with kindness, even in the dark of the night.