Tuesday Obituary: Grill

Tuesday Obituary: Grill
Photo: Jen Liu.

by Sahar Tavakoli

Smoked: Jen’s grill is no more. Arriving fully assembled on April 30, 2020, with date of manufacture unknown, the grill went out in a blaze of glory on the evening of March 12, 2024.

Photo: Jen Liu.

Portable and featuring foldable legs, adjustable air vents, and a locking lid, the grill’s finest physical quality was its bright red color. It found its way to the Liu-Colaço household via the Home Depot on Elmira Road. A COVID-purchase turned emotional support grill, it burned coal and sparked joy. 

On the final evening of its existence, a small group of friends gathered around the grill, each reciting the same words with varied levels of fluency*: sorkhi-yeh toh az mān, zārd-eh man az toh—lend me your redness, take from me my yellow. Fravardigan, the last 10 days of the solar calendar year, is a celebration of souls that have abandoned their physical bodies—urvans that have departed the material world to rejoin the fravashi from which all souls originate. Chaharshanbeh Suri (literally ‘Scarlet Wednesday’ and celebrated on a Tuesday) is one of the many festivities that take place within this 10-day period. It is a night of humoral rebalancing, a transformation of choleric to sanguine brought on by the act of jumping over fire.

Perhaps there were too many of us, perhaps we were asking too much of the generous little grill. It distributed its redness among us, reserving none for itself. As we sat around eating mixed nuts, full of hot, wet airs, the grill burned a hole right through its own base. Through this wound, the grill’s urvan slipped away, leaving behind a little heap of ash and pieces of burned metal that still turn up from time to time in my garden bed.**

The grill is survived by Jen Liu and the dualistic struggle of the universe.

*Shout out to that one friend who got a little too voiced uvular fricative on the voiceless velar.

**The grill was not the only death of the evening. From personal correspondence with Jen Liu, dated 05/16/2024: “was wondering if you should mention that since Fravardigan some of those friendships have gone up in flame 🔥🔥🔥 [...] I like to think that the grill’s last act inspired me to torch the relationships that brought me absolutely no joy, so for that I am eternally grateful 🙏🍢❤️‍🔥Cleansed by fire”

Sahar Tavakoli writes The Stopgap’s late news (10 letters). 

Tip Sahar