You read the first part here: The Forbidden Fruit: Porn in Tehran
I checked back on Zara silently to make sure she was asleep. She was snoring, so quietly I started to open the creaky door. Amazingly, there was no sound. I put on my shoes and went up the scary stairs. It was a very cold and dark night, but I didn’t dare turn on my flashlight. I wanted to be as quiet as possible. Once on the top balcony, I turned the light on, looked at the keys, and inserted one key at the time in the hole and turned them. But the keys weren’t turning. I tried again, and again, and again, but to no avail.
“Damn it,” I said, extremely upset.
I sat down on the cold ground and looked up to the sky.
“God please do not play with me, I want to read that book,” I said.
“You have put the desire in my heart; you have created me as a human with genitals. There is nothing wrong reading about other people’s genitals. Please allow me to read that damn book, please.”
I looked at the keys again. I was so angry. My hands were shaking. I couldn’t believe all my efforts would be in vain.
I looked at the keys more carefully this time and realized I hadn’t used one of the keys. I tried it in the door, and to my relief I was able to enter the ambaree.
The box I was looking for was on the very top shelf. I grabbed the box and looked inside. Finally, I saw the familiar title of Galeen. I picked up the book and hugged it.
“Oh, God, thank you, thank you, thank you,” I said.
I looked inside the box one more time. There were more books by different authors. But there were several books by the author R-Etemadi. I picked two more books by him along with Galeen and went back down to my room.
Before opening Galeen, I examined the other two books. I had a suspicion those books were going to be more explicit than Galeen. I read the few first pages, but I couldn’t concentrate. I had to read Galeen first.
… … …
It was around 3 a.m. when my dad got up to get a glass of water. He noticed the light coming out from my sister’s room and started walking up the stairs towards Zara’s room. When I heard the footsteps I just about managed to hide Galeen and pick up a different book by my bed before he saw what I was up to. He knocked.
“Yes,” I said.
“What are you doing in Zara’s room?” he asked.
I explained that I had switched rooms.
“You have all the hours to read books throughout the holiday. Go back to sleep for now,” he said kindly.
Why could the clergy in Iran always get away with their misbehavior while I would be punished for reading porn in Tehran?
He offered to turn off the light, and I agreed. He never found out, even today, about my adventure. But I am sure he would have been extremely upset, perhaps mad, to know that I had read Galeen. No one knew about those watered-down porn books in our house. I was putting everyone at risk if others knew we kept such books.
The house was dark and silent. Yet, I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to know why the Islamic regime in Iran would punish me for keeping such books? Why was there always a double standard when it came to judging the actions of the public against the conduct of the clerics? I had heard many stories about the mullahs’ corruption and sexual misconduct in clergy schools, even involving other men. I knew the authorities held a different standards for clerics. But why could the clergy always get away with their misbehavior while I would be punished for reading porn in Tehran?
However, inside my heart, I was giggling. I was so happy to be able to fool my dad, the authorities, and the theocratic system of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I was happy that the small measure of power I felt was greater than the authority’s substantial power. After all, I had gotten access to something that was forbidden. I was proud of myself.
The giggle was cut short the moment I remembered I had to deal with Zara the next morning, I felt a chill in my body.
“Oh my God,” I thought.
“How am I going to manage Zara?”
To be continued …
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