litbomb (Online) April 2013
After a while, even though they’re singing in Arabic or Farsi, he swears he can tell what they’re singing about; swears this song’s about what it’s like when their lips meet in the dark, how it feels watching him walk out the door, off to join the army, not knowing how he’ll get by without her.
He’s had this same experience before, watching an Italian couple arguing in Italian in an Italian subway station: she was telling him he’s a dog—has always been a dog—and she knows there’s going to be some slut at the end of the line, waiting to meet him and let him take her home to her chintzy and flowered walk-up, let him kiss her on the balcony under the April drizzle, then take him inside, let him prove just how much of a dog he truly is.
All of this he understood clearly without a single word of English. Translation, he thought, was unnecessary, superfluous.
Now he sits and listens to the Farsi love song, laments the pace that others set for themselves, a pace that keeeps them from hearing the heartbreak, feeling the loss, sharing the shattered moment we all have to live through, sooner or later, in any language.