This woman was looking at me at the Shirin Store. The Shirin Store is a small sewing supplies shop in one of the inner lanes of the Ruwi Market where my mother and I have matched lace and ribbons and iron-on patches for years. I had purchased all my needlework class supplies in the 6th and 7th grades from this shop, and I think everyone else in school had too.
This woman was looking at me when I'd visited the shop two weeks ago. She was the face on a pack of hair rollers. I wondered who she was. She must have a name. Was she an Alice or a Yasmeen? I wondered if she knew on the day of her photo shoot that she'd end up here in this little corner of corners in the Middle East somewhere. I wondered when the photo shoot had been. Last year? In the 70s? Had she been a fulltime model or only pursuing it on the side? How old was she now? Was she happy? Was she alive? Was she American, British, European, Latin American, South African, Australian, Russian? Lebanese? Turkish? Irani? Would I be able to find her if I wanted to? Would I find her disappointing? What would I say to her when I found her? Would she care? Why did I?