Wednesday, 2 December 2009

My heart was once a Ruby Red - fuselage6ofthe13thbench post

This blogpost is my latest entry at fuselage6ofthe13thbench thought it would be nice to post it here too. Read through the couple of posts before it to kinda get the jist of our concept

My lover gave me a vial the day he left with the rest to find the colours of the world.
In it lay the fragile frame of a hummingbird that had fallen victim to the Great Monochrome Sleep.

It had been a few years since the GMS. Many had died. Most in fact.
Who knew humans could not cope with no colour?
The few that had survived had already been drained of some colour by life. They were ill, or sad, or just simply pale in complexion.
The few that remained were now the Rainbow Warriors. They had now awoken to the tragedy of a bleached and blackened existence, and seeing their surrounding being consumed by the dark and the white, they decided to reform, reshape, and resist.

He had left me 24 white suns ago, and I had sat by the shore of the grey sea, watching sunset turn the sky gradually from white to black sun after sun after sun, waiting for a shout, for a cheer from far off, a sign that they had come back, that the colours would come back, that they had found the solution.

We had begun to lose hope once again. Our bravest, strongest, smartest had gone, and come back, and gone again, and come back empty handed. Our tomatoes were still grey, our bread still pasty, our appetites bland.
The GMS had claimed the red blush in the cheeks of young girls winked at by doting boys, the blue in the face of the old man who coughed and coughed, the green envy in the eyes of the wife of the two-timing husband.

The days were black, white and every shade and shape and form of grey in between, but after all that time, the grey was just one.

The Rainbow Warriors were our continuous hope. Our only colour.

And then that day came. I opened my eyes, head still resting on the soft pillow that I usually shared with the crown of my heart's prince. And I saw it.
The hummingbird. In it's clear glass vial, colour spreading slowly but unfaltering through the plumes, like blood in vessels. Blue, green, turquoise, teal, red. They flooded its being, and with every colour that appeared, the words that accompany them flowed through my head like a gushing river that broke a tenacious damn. Ruby red, emerald green, Sea blue, grass green... My eyes began to sparkle, and my now pink lips stretched into a smile. The lifeless bird glowed with colour and verve, like a brand new sun rising from the sea.
I straightened up hastily, and quickly my head turned toward my window, where I heard people shouting and laughing and cheering with glee at the orchestra of hues and shades.

The Great Monochrome Sleep was over.

And I waited, day after day, grapefruit sunset, after grapefruit sunset, by the sparkling sapphire sea. But my love was no where in sight.

And while the rest enjoyed the red of a freshly picked ripe apple, the purple of the wild irises, and the indigo of dusk, slowly but unfaltering, my world started to drain of its tints till my heart bled its last red drop, and turned to cold grey stone.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

I once heard... About a tree of broken promises

It towers so high, people say it reaches an 8th heaven; a tree, bare and naked and rough with lanes and lanes of grooves etched into its dry bark by old man time. So many in fact that one could believe that they each represent the lifeline of each being on earth, at least, that is what is said. This tree holds no fruit, no leaves. Instead, it stretches out into hands that reach towards the sky, yearning for something to hold. A gypsy once told me he watched as a new branch sprouted out from the side of its trunk, and a hand slowly drew it up, up and up until it stopped, and by that point no one was able to see it for all the clouds that had masked its wooden appendage. But not all of its branches were high up in the heavens. Some branches hung low on the tree, close to the earth, close to us. And they held bones; wishbones that dangled desperately, distressed and desolate.

I poured the gypsy a drink of moonshine on that autumn evening, standing by the back wall of the tavern, and he told me what he had heard of this tree.
"It lies in a no-man's land somewhere and everywhere," he gushed, slurring slightly under the influence of badly fermented cheap gin. "A tree, like no other, striking fear, awe, and melancholy all together. An orchestra of muddled feelings that you cannot begin to comprehend...I have seen it once when I saw that hand-branch shoot up, from afar. And when I blinked, I could not see it anymore." His head bobbed left and right before tipping as he lowered his eyes and stared through my knees into the back of his mind where he conjured his images. "It's the Tree of Broken Promises..." he uttered silently, more serious and less grandiose in his expression. "All those hands, reaching towards the hope of a divine consummation of the promise made between two. The universe has ears, and it whispers your promise to this tree. Don't think no one hears. Do not make that mistake surioară. Do not make that mistake. Mother earth hears, Brother Wind hears, Sister moon hears. And all comes to the Tree of Broken Promises. I have heard that that's when a branch breaks through the bark and goes up. That must be why it does that, it waits for the promise. Waits. Reaching up, up, up...", and as he is saying this he raises his jar with the murky homebrew in steps with every "up" he utters.
"And what have you heard of the lower branches? Why do they hang low like that?" I slowly and quietly ask, curiosity gnawing at my insides, as I hold the bottle of booze towards him as an enticing bribe, and perhaps a shield.

"Ah, va. Yes. those branches. The tired fallen ones. The promises that cannot hold anymore. Where the tree gets its name. You see surioară, they reach and reach and reach..." (once again, pushing his jar up representatively with every "reach",) "till the branches dry up, and they start to shrink and bend and fold onto themselves. This is what I've heard surioară. They fall to the earth, hanging low on the tree, and grow a wishbone. This is the tragic fruit they bear. A dry, brittle fruit that with one hand, very much like a clap, has no outcome. When a promise breaks, the tree makes a wish. It wishes that the promise will be fulfilled someday. So it holds its wishbone close to us, uselessly waiting for someone to end its wait. It waits with its heavy promises. încă mai este în aşteptare..."

I once heard about this tree from a gypsy with a gold serpent earring. We shared a bottle of moonshine under an autumn moon, behind a tavern in the town Segarcea. He told me of the heavy heart this tree unwillingly held, and the weight that mankind wickedly lay on its branches, bending and breaking and drying it up. And of this tree, I do not wish to hear anymore, for fear my heart may unwillingly bend and break and dry up.

Monday, 16 November 2009

A Case of “the Deaf Leading the Blind”

I never was into Hip Hop. I started a “flower child”, so to speak, raised in a household that revered idols like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Don McLean, Janis Joplin, James Taylor, and the list goes on. My parents took me to a Pink Floyd concert when I was 3 (well, they had to since they couldn’t afford a babysitter in London at the time, but I’m not complaining). Perhaps it was since those days that music began to seep into my blood, and over the years, into my soul. As any audiophile, I went through my stages, at some point refusing what my parents listened to, at 13 writing Leonard Cohen off as an “oldie”, busy with my Nirvana, and my Greenday, and even Marilyn Manson. Slowly I moved up in the musical atmosphere, passing by the more studied Alternative and acoustic folks of lyrical expression, entering the Realms of Classical masters like Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Mozart, and then swerving left and right to go through neighbourhoods of Jazz and Blues,,appreciating Nina Simone years after I saw her live, being, once again, dragged to a concert in Lebanon, by my parents who unknowingly were creating a musical fiend.
I could go on and on about my travels with the bars and the notes and the crescendos and the melodies, but I’m trying to get to a point. I nearly forgot about that point.

The point is music in Lebanon. Underground music in Lebanon. The bands that are coming up under the surface, untainted by the mainstream stain, working slowly and surely and adequately on their sound. There are many of them. Like weeds, mushrooms, in the dark damp places of the country they strive, slowly building an army of sound armed with calibre.

The point is I never was into rap or hiphop. Ok, so I heard Eminem when I was 15 and happily sang along to “My Name Is..” and sure, I still like his first couple of albums, if only for nostalgia’s sake. Perhaps I’m more into old school sounds like Beastie Boys, and Jurassic 5, and Run DMC. But still, their air time on Karma Radio was very little.

I never was into rap or hip hop. Until I heard some freestylers in Sydney, playing with instruments, not a beat loop. And after pulling off a somewhat successful event at Zico House in July (Kharbish Bilsanak) I was introduced to one of the alleys of Lebanon’s Underground Music city. I heard many rappers, hip-hoppers... They all seemed good, but still, as I said before, I never was into rap or hip hop. So it was me trusting what little knowledge i had.

Until I heard Fareeq il Atrash.
That simple.
The rush of blood to my ears that I had felt watching those amazingly talented freestylers in Sydney was reiterated. The beat, the music, the lyrics (dare I say poetry? Yes. I dare) the performance, the overall choreography... Stunning.

I now knew what my ears wanted to hear. I knew the calibre I was craving for. Actually, calibre is a good word in this situation.

Fareeq il Atrash are different than the other Rappers/Hip Hop artists I’d heard. This is not to say the others are worse, but that at least for me, Fareeq il Atrash hit that high note. They demand a calibre (there’s that word again), a specific maturity of their audience. They too, like the Sydney peeps, played with instruments live. John Imad Nasr on bass, dealing out a bassline that resonates as a solid foundation for Ghassan Khayyat (aka Goo) with his masterful guitar improvs and welcome interruptions, Fayez Zouhairy (aka Fz) with his beat making machine mouth, Nasser Al Shorbaji (aka Chino) with his bi lingual flow and dramatic presence, and of course Edouard Abbas (aka L’Edd) with his deep timbre and words that I’d like to coin as urban poetry.
Together, these famous five are able to pull a performance that the appreciating ear is more than happy to experience over and over and over again. A performance of calibre, that requires a maturity.
A far cry from the type of loud rappers that yell and shout and scream their, albeit, valid messages that yes, are usually written well, the voice used from the Atrash’s body, is smooth, mellow, and shrewd. Their messages are subtle, not literally stated, and range from social, to political situations, to loves and people worth remembering. The “deaf” portray what many are blind to, and they are genuine in doing so. Their street “voice” also makes it obvious that being cultured and worldly doesn’t negate street “cred” or devalue their concerns within the social folds of the country. Their first EP is even strewn with musical “intermissions”, or ”2atshe’t” that feature a beat that sounds like it’s being played on a muted drum set (I think thats the best way of describing it) and even a taxi driver reciting a couple of lines of ‘zajal’, recorded on L’Edd’s phone during his ride.

My point is, i never was into rap and hip hop. My honest point is that Fareeq il Atrash have shot over this definition into a medley of studied musical styles, playful experiments of sound and production, pages of urban poetry that brings a smile to your face when you hear something you haven’t heard that last 20 times you played the track, and of course a down to earth demeanor that make them accessible to so many different types of people, as well as makes me grateful for knowing them.

Perhaps you think I’m easy to give praise, and although I could write more and more details on why I’ve done so, I think they can convince you themselves. Music is worth a thousand reviews.

Follow the “deaf” and hear them for yourself.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Pissing in the wind

"Yea, I got it. I understand your type now. I know exactly why someone like me interests you, but only till I don't.
It's because you're drawn to fuck ups. I'm not a fuck up. I won't make it too difficult. I won't light your kitchen on fire, or break down at the drop of a pin, or step on your charming advances to reach the next in line but pull a ball of yarn along to keep you at my tail.
I won't give you a run for your loving.

You're drawn to a fuck up. Until you aren't. And then you're drawn to another fuck up. Until you aren't. And so on, so forth.

It's that simple. You love the fuck ups. The problem with that, is sooner or later, the title is transfered. You become the fuck up.
And a lonely one at that.

And that's just the saddest thing I could think of happening to you.
It really really is."

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The king is dead, long live his cause.

It's with a lump in my throat that I write this blog post.
Adam died a couple of days ago, after fighting his malnutrition, his aches and his pains.
This news hit me harder than I ever expected it to. Maybe this is because I had spent a silent hour staring at this king of beasts, through the bars of his prison as he lay weak. Maybe I had had a silent conversation with him, without the need of words. Just energy, and thoughts and feelings. At the news of his death, I found myself nearly immediately tearing up, and immediately wanting it to be a lie. A mistake. Something dark and dismal that slipped someone's twisted imagination, only to be unravelled by reality.

I like to think that he found the love he had wanted to feel from the many that had become concerned with his well-being in the last month, after living two years in a caged hell desperately hoping it was out there, this love he sought.

I like to think it was with a sigh of relief and tranquility that his last breath left his body, as he lay in the sanctuary of the Lebanese mountains, a cool breeze caressing his young mane.

I like to think that he'll be buried here, that he will be our mountain king. The patron saint of lost causes. And I like to think we'll honour his cause, when we find ourselves faced with another one.

I like to think, somewhere in Africa, a pride of strong healthy lions is looking up towards the Savannah sky at a new star roaring its light down, protecting them from the malice of mankind.

As Tom Waits so rightly sings in 'Misery is the River of the World', "The one thing you can say about Mankind; there's nothing 'Kind' about Man."

Monday, 12 October 2009

Rehashed Post ~ Reflections on Return

A few days ago, friend of mine asked me to submit something I've written about Beirut by today for a reading she wants to do in New York. Being under a lot of pressure work-wise (refer to previous post), I decided to take parts of a post I wrote a while ago, rehash and add and modify. Snip snip stitch glue tada. There is also a whole new Scene added (the first one)

I made the Beirut references more obvious too, since, well.. Not everyone is aware of my situation at the time, or what I am talking about.

anyway. this is it.

Reflections on Return: 
4 Scenes in No Particular Order


The Thames River always saw the worse side of me. As I’d cross the bridge going towards the art museums on South Bank, I’d leer at the murky brown waters from above. A frown would form as I brought my shoulders up around my neck to protect it from the sting of the cold, I’d shake my head offended, then pause at one point, before reaching the other side, to face the waters as I cursed it, calling its feeble attempt to pass as a body of water pathetic and shameful, ending with a dramatic spitting motion. It became a ritual of mine, an infamous tradition that I carried out regardless of the weather that day, or the company I was with, or the mood I was in. With every outburst, I felt the spite within me grow, balanced with a longing and a melancholy that just made my existence harder to cope with. When they asked me why I was so angry, why I was bitter, I told them I was hurt. I told them I took the Thames’ aesthetic (or lack thereof) personally. 
After all, I told them, I was a daughter of the Mediterranean, and next to that, the Thames was a muddy, stagnant puddle on the side of a soulless city highway.


The sun stained the Mediterranean pink, Grapefruit pink, as it melted into the water, dissolving and tinting the sea. The warmth from its glow was slowly cooled by the salt whipped wisps of breeze that kept the hair out of my eyes. The waves rippled slowly, creating an illusion of migrating fluid creatures, moving from one horizon to the other, moving in unison and in tempo, with the music in my ears setting the beat. Rachmaninov, and Moonlight sonata.. As I sat still in front of this sea of love, my sea of love, all seems to make sense. In fact, nothing makes sense except for the sight in front of my eyes... Why would I leave it's side? The waves may snarl at me warning me of its depths.. but it suffices to sit on the sand and watch the sun bring a day to its end, with the glorious city of Beirut behind me. It will rise tomorrow.. the Same Sun. The Same sun sets and rises over this city, we live one day. Our whole lives have been one day continuously, and continues to be one day. Same Sun, but never the same sea.

I'm in the shower, and I'm tired, and agitated and I stand there naked, arms crossed and clinging to my shoulders. Through the small bathroom window the Mosque calls to prayer, and I can hear the laugh track from Seinfield playing on the neighbour’s TV. The rooster inconveniently living on the roof of the building next door crows in unison. I look up through my closed eyelids at the ceiling, letting the hot water flow over my face, over my lips, and divide onto each side of my nose. I splutter out water from my nose and mouth every once in a while, panicking fleetingly and unnecessarily as I suppress my phobia of suffocation and drowning. And then water fills my ears, and the sounds are drowned, literally, except for a low rumble. It's all I hear. Its the twin sound of the rumbling you hear on board a plane. And suddenly I'm on the plane back to London. i've left Beirut and my mother, my friends, my beautiful sea, my bar on Sadat St., and I'm on a plane, strapped in economy, trying to shift away from my neighbour whose asleep, tipping slowly towards my shoulder and beginning to drool. And I move my head. And its gone. All I hear is water hitting the tub floor, and spurting through the shower head, my eyes open and I see my feet, wet and naked, standing the in the shower in my bathroom in Beirut.

I take the long way home after a night out at the Cabin, with music in the passenger seat. He talks, I listen. He tells me of his broken heart, the rain dogs, the barfly, the weight on his shoulders. He recounts stories of catholic girls, the girl at the bottom of his glass, the red house his baby lived in, how we could be heroes just for one day, and sometimes he hums violins and pianos. And I listen. He sings in English, in Arabic, in alto, soprano. He can hit high notes, and low notes. He makes heads turn as I comb the city streets after midnight, a cigarette in my hand, buildings to my left, the Mediterranean to my right. He's my favourite companion. An ironically silent one. And he does not get annoyed if I drift off. After all, I drift off into his arms. It’s with Him, and Here, that I am truly home.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Nowhere is now. See you there.

Dear Blog,

I'm writing to apologise.
I've been neglecting you.
I apologise. I know, I know. I said it already, but the way I feel is that I should say it twice.

I've been very busy you see. And tired (Insomnia is a whole post on it's own). And unable to write without it being provoked, insincere, and well, simply unworthy.

Anyway, I had promised that I'd post at least once a week, groom your lines, clean your spacings, water your drafts. I haven't kept my word. In fact, I recently went a whole month without posting. How could I have let you nearly starve. I'm so grateful you didn't abandon me and leave for Error 404.

So please, accept this post as an apology, and even though I haven't written, I'm posting a photo I took. That counts remember?

We are Nowhere. And it's now.
Such a statement... A simple line, scribbled on a concrete street divider in Sydney with a purple paint pen, has rang more true and proved more thought-provoking than many things people have told me, many things I've been taught, many things I've read.

That's how I feel at the moment Blog, but you understand. I know you do. We're one, you and I.
Maybe Nowhere is not such a bad place to be. At least it's somewhere.
And at least We're Nowhere together.

Till our next rendez vous, I bid you farewell, and wish your HTML code well....

Much love,


Saturday, 26 September 2009

The fallen king of the concrete jungle

A few weeks ago, and thanks to the efforts of BETA, an organisation that works hard to protect and shelter animals in Lebanon, a lion was rescued from a harrowing reality and an inevitable death.
A pet shop near the Beirut port, famous for selling tropical and rare animals had been keeping a lion in a a cage the size of a small car. Emaciated, weak, sick and sad, this king of the jungle lay nearly motionless as volunteers fought for his right to life.

A friend of mine had been there at the time of the rescue, and it was she that called me and told me about the king, to my utter disbelief. But I did not realise how bad his situation was till I saw photos the next day, and even that was nothing compared to what I would feel when I journeyed to see his majesty at Animal Encounter, an animal reserve in the mountains where he had been moved to recover.

The two year old lion, young and yet larger than you would expect, had been fed intravenously for god knows how long. A carnivore that was deprived of being a carnivore. The facts around how long his "jailer" had had him for were hazy. He had changed his story many times, but it was long enough for the lion's paws to get infected due to lack of exercise. Long enough for a lion to become a cat.

It was a large cat I saw. It could not be a Lion, the King of the jungle. It could not be an "Aslan", with long thick mane, rippling muscles, glistening fur, and a roar that shook the earth.
It should have been. But it was not.
What this "lion" was, was a frail body, with a belly bloated and full of anything but food, skin that clung to ribs, eyes that could speak stories, in volumes of hurt.

As I stood in front of him, numb and paralyzed with empathy, anger, and disgust at mankind and his unfaltering ability to destroy, my face got hotter and hotter and my eyes felt like coals as I held back unexpected tears.

In this concrete jungle, the King of beasts has been mercilessly dethroned by a monster: Mankind's ever growing capacity to put his selfish, greedy desires above all else.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

"I'll move forward, and you'll move backwards, and somewhere we will meet"

I bumped into Jackie years after I had first met her. She had not changed much, despite the time that had spread itself between us, she was still short, slim with slight curves that hinted at a plumper past, eyes that were wide and inviting, and of course a cigarette in between the fingers of her right hand.

I had met Jackie at a bar after I had graduated college, she was with the younger crowd of newly admitted students, and there was no doubt that she imposed a presence.
Whether or not that was always a good thing, is a completely different subject.
Not to get me wrong, I didn't dislike Jackie. Au contraire. When I first met her, I found her bubbly, carefree nature admirable. Her surprising familiarity with subjects brought up by older more cultured acquaintances was intriguing. She seemed so sweet, with a smile that was instantly mirrored. It's safe to say the disillusionment didn't last very long.

The more I got to know her, the more her carefree nature turned into reckless exhibitionism, craving attention, banking on her charming package to push the brash euphemisms of her definition under the carpet. The more I got to know her, the more her knowledge of obscure, mature topics thinned out to become snippets of feigned interest for the sake of shock value. The more I got to know Jackie, the more her smile screamed fears of rejection, the need of affection, and the inability to break away from the gold framed self portrait she had prescribed to herself, for all to see. The more I got to know her, the more her drunken evenings became a manipulative tool in the winning of attentions.
She charmed nearly any guy who met her, after all she had looks on top of all the wild child attitude and subsequently, was on the bad side of many girls. But none of them could really act on their feelings, after all, how would you get around accusing sugar of being salt?

When I bumped into her those many years later, I was stepping out of the corner shop, headphones on my ears, drinking a smoothie out of a bottle. She was on her way in, and stopped suddenly. She smiled that very familiar smile, this time less able to hide a deep misery. She said "hey! Oh my god! I haven't seen you in ages!", and all I could hear was the same undertoned, self-muffled cry of help. Her face was less bright, and her eyes less lively. She asked what I was doing these days, and I told her I had set up a small home studio to do my writing and drawing in, and was about to send my first book to publishers. She chimed her awe, as she always did, thickly layered. I shrugged and told her it was just what had to be. "But what about you?" I asked.

"Oh! Well, you know, I graduated with a English Lit degree. Yea. Travelled around for a few years, you know. Saw some family in Europe, went to the States for a bit too. I'm not working at the moment, not sure what I want to do still, haha, a little late for that huh? Hahaha," her nervous laughter trailed slowly as we looked at each other silently for a second or two. I broke the silence by asking if she was with anyone, she replied that she had met her boyfriend a few months back at a concert. And he was a star in the making of course. He was younger than her, but who cared right? As long as he loved her and was there for her. I nodded and told her I guess that's what was important. I asked her who she was still in contact with from her group of friends, who I had known only briefly, except for a couple that had become close friends of mine.
"Oh that old group? None. Yea, shame I guess, but I think we had different interests and yea, well you know. Stuff. Whose still close to their college gang after graduation anyway? Right?" I smiled and laughed slightly, not wanting to tell her that nearly everyone of my good friends were friends I met at college, and their respective friends were, and so on so forth. I had predicted this of Jackie, whose nickname in the day was Jackie O, credit to her charisma and looks and "fame" amidst her peers.
I remember one night, after a particularly flamboyant evening in which she ended up barefoot, singing out loud, dancing on the street outside the bar at 3 am in the morning, how a friend of mine watched on, shaking her head. "She's crazy. She's just too much! How does this not piss you off?" I sighed and told her I foresee doom in her future in a deep voice, and she giggled at my impersonation. "Seriously though," I added, "this will end sometime. And I wonder what she'll have left... That's why I don't get too irritated. I actually feel sorry for her."
I'd had friends like her. The popular joie de vivre-ettes of my generation. Willing to try anything and do anything and all in a package sprinkled with sugar and spice.
They craved drama, they craved attention, they craved to be anyone but themselves, and yet were unwilling to change for reasons unbeknown to me. Who knows. Maybe it was pure comfort zone. Maybe some of them had actual prerogatives, but whatever the case, it was a long, winding, lonely road that finally lead them far from everyone else and far from their own true happiness.
"She's going to wake up once day, alone." I told my friend as I sipped my wine glass. "People are going to move forward, and she's not going to be able to catch up and grow up. She's like a really pretty flower. Lovely to look at, but you have to go on your way sooner or later, and if you pick it, it will just wilt. The life of the party is only ever needed at a party. And parties have to end sometime."

"So, I'll see you around sometime?" Jackie asked me, snapping me out of my recollection. "My boyfriend's friend has a cool hang out spot and he has all this alcohol. We can totally get tanked and party it up!"
I smiled at her, seeing her face light up. The warmth of escapism is an alluring one.
"I don't know, I have to finish off the illustrations for the book. Maybe.."
I was never good at hiding what I was thinking, and she understood me beautifully.
She took a last drag from her cigarette, smiled once again at me, then put it out with her foot before saying she'll keep an eye out for my book, and to take care.
I nodded in recognition, smiled, and wished her luck in whatever she wanted to do.

We both turned our backs to each other, walked our seperate ways, knowing that if we were to ever meet again, it would be by pure coincidence alone.

Monday, 17 August 2009

I once heard... About the wolves and their keeper

Bloody Lunas don't happen often.
The moon is tinted red, and there's a halo of ominous fog around its full face. But I once heard of a country where they happened often, and it was never a good sign,or at least for one man.

They say howls could be heard far off, like a warning, and within a few days a beautiful woman with a head turning gait would visit the town. No one can recall a unique description, the stories bounce back and forth, and details are changed. But they say her hair was thick and shimmered silver moonshine, and her skin as pale as warm milk. Her eyes were piercing grey and her lips were blood red, although accounts have stated the opposite.
She had no voice in her slender body, or at least no one ever heard her speak, or even breathe.

The morning after every Bloody Luna, a pool of blood would be found in the main square of the town, bathing remnants of what looked like flesh, ripped apart to thin slivers by beasts of size or number that could only ever be imagined.

Not until the townsfolk gathered and checked would they know who had become a raw soup of wretched flesh, lying in the cold sun.
It was always a man. And always one who would never be missed.

They say the wife of one of the victims saw her, this omnipotent vigilante, while she sat on her window sill the evening after, her bruised eye healing slowly, her broken jaw recovering painfully.

They say she saw her, but only her silhouette against the light of the moon, and in her hand she held several golden leashes. The leashes shone with the sparkle of stardust, and some have said that they were made of stars themselves to explain how every month a star would disappear from the night sky. The end of each leash bound a great white wolf that walked tame in her shadow, but only in her shadow.

It is said, it seems, that every time she is seen leaving a town, there is another wolf in her pack, bound to her by gold, forever in her service.

Monday, 10 August 2009

I once heard... About the tower of drawers and it's girl

Under the three moons she slept, on top of a tower of drawers. A year at a time.
And at the end of every year, she would wake up, groggy, rubbing the sandman dust out of her eyes before stepping off and falling great heights into the cool water below. It would wake her but before she could swim to the surface, its depths would claim her.
And in the drawer she went.
Year after year she'd live a life, and shed a body, drowning to connect the two dots.

They say it was so since the day she was born, that if you were to open the first drawer way down at the bottom, you'd see a baby's frail frame. If you were to open the second one, a slightly bigger skeleton lay, and so on and so forth. Sometimes there were other things in there, like a fish skeleton grasped in the hand of the 16th drawer's occupant, or a clear glass pebble in that of the 19th.

Some could say it was a curse, as well as a reality that she was never awake enough to know of. The older she got, the longer her fall to the pond below, the more she could grasp and see of the land she was on, that lonely 3 mooned planet with nothing and no one on it but a bottomless pond, a tower of drawers and her. The longer the fall, the more of her dreams she was able to remember. The longer the fall, the more the endless night's breeze caressed her skin. The longer the fall, the more the light of the 3 moons (that never were in the same phase mind you) fell on her silhouette.
But it would always end with a splash.

And just as before, she'd end up a year older, asleep atop a new drawer, that held a fresh body.

Over and over and over...

Sunday, 9 August 2009

You blackened my face...

Another installment in the literal illustrations of Arabic slang.
"Sawadtilli wijji" means, literally, "you blackened my face". In context, it means you've embarrassed someone, or brought them shame (which we all know is a sin in Arab culture... Punishable by death - that actually isn't even an exaggeration)

Personally I couldn't care less if you blackened my face. I'd just throw some back at you.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Fortune telling dreadlocks, farewells, and hallelujah

I walk into the Cabin, a hot Tuesday evening, intending on having a couple of drinks before dropping a friend of mine, Nick, at the airport to take that flight home one last time.

A "KARMA! I need you!" comes from a corner and I turn around to find another friend, a completely different Nick, is calling me.
He leads me to a table in the corner, sits me down, looks into my eyes as though he has seen the light of God and come back to tell about it, and says: "Ok. You are about to be connected to someone."
A slight dramatic pause, a silence, accompanied by a look on my face that can only be described as part worried, part smiling, part confused, part pitiful. The whole shebang.


Again. He repeats. "You're about to be connected to someone... I don't know if it's bad or good, but you're going to enter some one's life and be something special to them, or vice versa.. "

I have the mentioned look on my face still, this time it's become more of a "are you crazy? I'm going to back away slowly to not startle you" look.

"What are you talking about man??"

Nick, frustrated with my "look" and my obvious disbelief points to his head full of dreads and shouts "LOOK!" firmly.

Wait. I haven't told you about Nick's dreads have I?
Well it's a crucial element in this story, and an element worth knowing.

I met Nick G. around Christmas last year. A skinny fellow not to be mistaken for lanky, with a head full of dreadlocks (proper dreadlocks. As in Get up Stand up dreadlocks) that reached his shoulders. We shared many a drink at the Cabin, many a conversation, and eventually became good friends without the time in between. We even started a blog together.
On one of our nights conversing over a drink at the bar, I noticed a bolt in Nick's hair (yes. A bolt as in a nut and bolt). Pointing it out and laughing, Nick explained that "everything" was in his dreads and seeing that I didn't really believe him, he bent his head forward slightly so I was face to face with a mess of dreads, and started rummaging through them.
Lo and Behold. Earrings, pieces of string, bolts, beads, whatever could be put in dreads, was in my man Nick's head.
"They're souvenirs," he explained. "Bits of people that stay with me. You have to give me something for my dreads..."
I cracked up, and then noticed he was serious. I was wearing my keffiyeh round my neck, a 30 year old Keffiyeh that was once my mother's before I claimed it as my own. The years had faded out its rich black to a glorious grey, and had given it a few torn edges. One of those edges was long time tear-worthy. So, I ripped off a greedy slither off the edge, and gave it to Nick.
Five seconds later, it was on a dreadlock, claimed as mine. Beats sticking a flag in his head.

When he got back here in May, the first thing I asked him about was my conquered dreadlock, and he'd shake the left side of his head towards me till, you guessed it, my Keffiyeh strip dangled among the forest of dreads that boy has.

Coming back to my story, he had said "LOOK!"
Still with that amalgam of emotions in one expression, I went through the different dreads, Nick's hands frantically separating them also, till I found my dreadlock. Keffiyeh still there.

"Ok.. What?"

"LOOK! It's connected to another one!"

Following his fingers up the dread, I saw what he was talking about. My dread had linked to another dread all the way to the middle.

"Er. Ok?" I said, being ignorant of dreadlock protocol.

"They NEVER do that Karma. Maybe at the roots, sure. But NEVER all the way down to the lower middle."

Here, I paused. I still had that odd look on my face, and I'd held it so long that my eyebrow had begun to quiver slightly.
I'd heard of coffee cup readings, tea leaves, palm reading... But fortune telling dreads? Now, that was something.

I found myself split between two emotions.
One that told me this was as ridiculous as the fortunes in fortune cookies, the practical, down to earth grounded line of thought, and a second that was more whimsical, wishful, more willing to put faith in the unknown, the part that kept fortune cookie fortunes in my wallet whenever I felt the need.
After all, Nick wasn't just anyone. He was someone I respected, and had a feel for his spirit. I took him very seriously. And now this.

I laughed nervously. "Fortune telling dreads. Seriously dude. Come on..."

"Hey, no matter what we think, it's worth considering."

I scruff up his dreads, shake my head slightly, and get up to the bar. Yeah. Perhaps it is worth considering.

On the way there, I spy a pyramid shaped object on a table near by. My friend's bag.
It's been designed to look like those Bonjus juice pyramids. The ones that we used to drink as children that are now not as popular. Also the only juice boxes my father drank while he was in hospital before he left two years ago. It had been a sign once.
And then I realised what day it was. The 28th of July.
And as it all strung up together during that short 5 second walk to the bar, I leaned my arms against it, and heard familiar chords sound among the noise of the bar crowd. I didn't recognise it at first, and then as more and more chords strummed into place, i knew what it was.
Hallelujah. Originally by Leonard Cohen, covered by Jeff Buckley.
Hallelujah. One of my father's favourite songs. One that always, always reminds me of him, on the day I lost him.

I stood there lost in my thoughts, organising all these things that just flew at me. Before shaking it all off.

Ok. this is what must be. An odd night, high with emotions, in a Bar in Beirut, with the prophecy of companionship, a friend's farewell, and a song in the background of it all.

I turn around to join my friends and spy my dreadlock Nick, shake my head at him with a smile, whispering "fortune telling dreadlocks indeed..." under my breath.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

120 stories

I saw a man, by the pond, reflecting on reflections.

We danced in the fountain, and our laughter dropped into its waters, and the ripples embraced them.

I watched the light sit on the bench from afar, and enjoyed it's company. From afar.

I carved my name in a tree. And then I carved yours. At least the tree still holds them close.

The buildings were conversing. "I've never seen you light up like that before."

I watched the ferris wheel go round and round. True, it turns round in the same spot, but its stories are never the same.

Friday, 24 July 2009

I can hear you, you know

I've decided to document things I overhear in different places, some are quite funny, others quite sad, and some just horribly out of context, although I try hard to keep them intact.

Some things are just made to be overhead.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

It's all locked up in my head...

Another literal interpretation of Lebanese slang, and literally meaning "it's locked with me", "M2afli ma3i" means usually that someone's stuck, can't think. A mental block on all levels.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

I once knew what this heart was for...

Not anymore. Not anymore...

Monday, 6 July 2009

Birthday letter 2009

Well, it's your birthday today.
It's been on my mind for a while, I'm not exactly sure why since birthdays were never really big for you, and after you went away, dates surrounding you aren't important to me much either.

But this year it's been on my mind. And I think its because of Time, not dates. I think now I've felt the Time. It crept up on me, I was not aware of it. Suddenly, like a tap on the shoulder I turn my head and two years have gone by.
And I realise that I miss you.
And that we have not spoken or seen each other in two years. Then again, how could we?

And, being as stubborn as you know I can be, I decided I was going to talk to you, tell you how I've been, and that it was going to be a yearly thing. there's nothing that can or should stop me.
So, on your birthday, as a gift to you I'm going to take the time to look back at the year, and tell you about it, and tell you of things I've thought about or done. You not being here doesn't have to stop that. You're still my father after all, and maybe by writing it out and asking things I want to ask, I'll hear your voice in reply somewhere in my mind. Sounds a bit silly no? No, of course not.

I took a big jump this year baba. I don't know if the jump was right or not, and I've come to believe that there is no such thing as a right or wrong. It just leads where it does. It's not the jump that matters, but where you land. I haven't landed completely yet, but I've taken the jump. I decided to pause my life as a typical graphic designer. I've realised I don't like the corporate world, and the job it inscribes to me. This makes me remember when i was into my second year at AUB, and you told me how you would have preferred I'd gone into architecture. I got so angry! How could you, a graphic designer, tell me, a graphic design student, that! Maybe because you were feeling then, what I felt now, although I really doubt architecture would have been the way to go.
I decided to stop the cycle. I was not enjoying my work, and I realised that i was being drained by it all, and my creativity was waning. I was tired, and the weight in my head was getting heavier.
So I'm going to Australia for a bit.
Crazy I know, but perhaps not as crazy as one would think. When I went there a bit more than a month ago, i was lucky to be in the presence of people who spoke to this part of me. I had conversations with strangers about one's essence and need to do what they feel deep down they must be doing. to not fear failure, and just follow one's heart and instinct. I have a feeling I need to be concentrating on my writing, and my art, and my creative outlets, and the atmosphere there as well as the people I was lucky enough to be around seem to be the perfect medium for it.

Thank you for the sign by the way.
I got it loud and clear, and I'm sure this is where I'm supposed to be now. And I'm sure if it is, you know that already.

I'll probably take small jobs bar tending or waitressing (I'm sorry, I know you never liked me to do those but have faith in my up bringing. I do), or maybe even design freelancing. Whatever comes my way to make my ends meet while I concentrate on satisfying this part of me is up for grabs. The corporate machine can wait. I'm making it wait. It's now or never.

But I'd also be lying if I told you I was not a bit scared. All this confidence I have in voicing my plans collapses sometimes, and I feel like huddling and staying close and just falling into line. But I suppose fear is meant to do that. But it's not for too long, and whatever happens during my stay in Australia, it'll be something that I'll learn from.

Did you used to feel alone? Regardless of having mama and I and anyone else who meant anything to you around? I do sometimes. I thought about it the other day. The stereotype of the artistic mind, the creative personage who is tormented by their thoughts and their inability to produce at the pace that their mind works. The inability in making it clear to those around how they think, or express and how this leads them to shutting the world out, and isolating themselves. I said this to a friend of mine, and he wondered how I could feel this way, considering the amount of friends I have. I told him its not about the friends you have around you, but how you feel inside. Sometimes I come back from a night out spent laughing and enjoying myself, but I get in the car and it's like I'm another person. I cannot smile, and I feel like it was not worth the time or effort. That I did not learn anything new. And I feel alone and disappointed with myself, as though I have not been true to myself. I started to think if you felt this way. I never stopped to notice if you had that in you, if I've gotten it from you, inherited this weird feeling of being a part of many scenes, but the one that matters the most feeling lacking, and unaccomplished. I'm so sorry if you felt that way. At least now I can tell you that I understand.

I wonder how different I am now, then I was when you saw me last. Not in appearance, but in attitude. I wonder if I'd surprise you, if you'd be happy, or proud. I'm sure that sometimes I do things, or act in ways that I know would instigate that look you sometimes give me that spells out "you know better than that", and I do, but I'm trying.
I'm noticing more and more things that I do, mannerisms, or ways I think, or talk, that reflect you strongly. I remember when you first left, how I once froze solid when in the middle of a conversation with someone, i clasped my hands together behind my head, leaning back with my legs crossed, and continued the conversation. This was not something I'd ever done. This was your seating position, not mine, and although it startled me, it also comforted me that you were coming through in all sorts of ways. I find so much comfort in that. I even think twice these days (Sorry Bob), once for me, and once for you, regardless the situation. I ask myself twice, and in my head my voice comes through, and I try to imagine what you would say. I try my best, I really really do.

I am realising now that this letter idea is more than I thought it would be. I'm writing and writing, and although I've told you a few things, there's so much more to talk about,
but it'll have to stop here for now. Till next time.

Here's to another year. Here's to moving forward and taking you along with me. Here's to you, and mama, and everything in between.

Happy Birthday baba.
I love you kteer kteer.


Saturday, 4 July 2009

The man's got a tin can for a head.

"Leish rasak mtannik?" is a slang phrase in Arabic (well, Lebanese) that refers to someone whose stubborn for no legitimate reason, boxed in, and unwilling to be receptive.
"Mtannak" comes from the word "Tanak" , which means tin, usually tin can. I decided to start a series of illustrations depicting literal translations of phrases such as this.
Procrastination hold your ground, come not near here.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Dream Sketch #7 ~ Another way to feel alone

Working overnight...

... just like I used to do when I was in university. Just like I was the night I started this blog. So much has happened since, so many things. I feel like going through all the writing I have on here, and trace my life through a cyber window, see how I've changed, if i have. See who has affected me, and why. See what I have to say about everything, and what that says about me، see where I'm going.

But I won't.

I'm going to hide behind the excuse that I have to finish this rushed job before I hear the neighbours rooster crow in a couple of hours. Of course, I could tell you that I'm scared of seeing myself in chronology, just like someone is fearful of putting his hand into a dark strange box. What if I don't like what I was, and I disappoint myself again? Or what if I find I've arrived nowhere? No no. Where's that excuse I needed? Ah yes. I need to work. Maybe I'll look through that window some other day, but not today.

I'm up after all the beings on this side of the earth have fallen asleep, and all the beings on the other side have begun to go about their days. And all I can think of is the next entry I want to write. Musha is sprawled on the floor, her paws crossed, and her muzzle twitching slightly every once in a while. I wonder what dogs dream about...

That excuse is becoming the elephant in the room. I guess I have to get back at it.

Good old days at the studio overnighting with everyone, smoking cigarettes, going crazy once in a while, and drinking diet Pepsi till my brain began to make that fizzing noise. I miss that.

There's the Mosque calling to prayer. The rooster's cue is in a bit.

Till the next post. A tout a l'heure, and goodnight.

(And seriously... what do dogs dream of?)

Friday, 19 June 2009

Hula Hoops and Pavement Tiles

I remember hula hoops.

I remember how adamant I was as a child to master the art of hula hoops. And I did.
I used to run out at recess, hurry to the back playground where all the toys were, and grab the lime green one. Nearly always the lime green one.
With a shove of the plastic circle in one direction, and my hips in the other, I could go on for hours if I was allowed it.

I remember hopscotch too. And that game that resembled cats cradle but instead of on our hands, elastic was stretched between the legs of two persons, and we would jump over and on the elastic, and do all sorts of crazy moves till we tripped up or ruined the pattern.

I remember all these things. All those days before I knew any better.
I say "better" but I don't know how much I believe that. Why is it "better"?

Those were days before I knew anything of sorrow, or death, or wars. Before I could understand what depression was, what loneliness was, what agonies failures and disappointments brought. Before honesty was scarce and caused complications instead of simply being the truth. Before I felt the weight of a broken heart, or the cold shiver a betrayal can give. Before I knew anything of life and all its onerous baggage.

Maybe back then was better after all.

So I suppose it should make sense to you when I do "childish" things. When I run through sprinklers, jump in puddles when it rains, pretend that the existence of humanity depends on my not stepping on the lines in the pavement tiling. When I feel like flying a kite, or hiding behind trees, or making shadow animals in the middle of a projected class presentation.
I love doing all those things. It makes me feel happy, free. For a tiny bit I'm granted the peace I once had, cradled in the arms of naivety. I feel invulnerable, and untouchable. I feel, if only for moments at a time, that I didn't grow up too fast. And why not?

I'm with Tom on this one. "I don't wanna grow up".
Shame I didn't realise it before I did; before I forgot how to spin a lime green hula hoop on my hips.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Friday, 8 May 2009

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The little things

What is it about silly romantic B- movies that can make someone like me, whose skin has been thickened by many an ordeal and considers herself a strong person to tear up silently?

It must sound ridiculous, to tear up at an imaginary situation, with imaginary characters, and an imaginary love. But that is, alas, the case.
A fantasy of sorts, having someone be head over heels for you, setting up the building roof with lights and a dinner to surprise you, leaving notes where they know you'll find it, walking the extra mile to show you they would do so for you, simple gestures, glances, touches that fill the heart like nothing else does.

Despite the ridiculousness of tearing at a B-movie, I've come to realise that it is not as a sign of weakness or naivety. No. On the contrary, it is a sort of mourning, a wish, an extra jolt of adrenaline in the race to the end. The race to being happy with your heart. After all, it is at the core of you, literally and metaphorically. It's a reminder in a way, of what some of us really would like to feel.

"But these things don't happen in real life."
Perhaps not always. But aren't movies supposed to be imitating life? Someone must've done it, or thought it, or seen it happen for them to write it up, cast it, direct it.

I don't know why I'm writing this post, I don't know what compelled me to write it. But I suppose this is just what this blog is for...

So why not fall into the moments of "you complete me" and "olive juice" and guitars in front car seats and take them for what they are ...

After all, it is the little things that count.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Shooting stars

He sat on the edge of the world, hands by his sides, his legs swaying slightly back and forth.
The scene before him was breathtaking, the sun rolling under the curvature of earth, staining the sky shades of yellow, orange, red, purple, till it hit a deep lilac and then a blue of night ever so rarely noted.

But despite it all, his face had a subtle sadness in it, only visible in the slight sloping of his eyebrows, the gentle dip of his lip edges, and the light creasing of his forehead. His wings were folded neatly, the feathers clean and slick, a silver radiance reflecting the vanishing light.

As a sigh escaped his being, he looked down at the stars that twinkled awake in the new born darkness, and started to count the shooting stars.
He whispered names as they streaked by, each one weighed down in its letters, falling one after the other, tumbling from his mouth to nowhere the eye could see. Each ending just as the their corresponding trail of light withered and extinguished.

More than a few names later, he brought up one leg onto the ground, pushing himself up with his arm till he was fully stood, head still slightly lowered towards the ether. His wings shivered slightly, ruffling in an attempt to relax.

Burdened, and tired, he rubbed his face, sighed once more, and accidentally allowed a tear to escape and roll down his face.

I cannot do this anymore, forgive me, he whispered this time louder than before, looking to his right.

Without even flinching, his wings opened up suddenly, the fronds of feathers unhinging and separating in what seemed like a couple of movements till they were full breadth. They embraced the breeze in their stalks, giving it a slight whistle.

And he fell.

He did not jump head or feet first, he simply fell forward, allowing the arms of gravity to pull, and the blanket of wind and cloud to envelope him.

Faster and faster, his fall took him, till he was blurred. Faster and faster till he burst into a flame, a flame brighter than ever.

In a garden, a girl laying on the grass suddenly smiled and pointed at the sky.
"Look, a shooting star!" she exclaimed, a smile gracing her lips, its light mirrored in her eyes briefly before being claimed by the night.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Bruise beautifully

You bruise beautifully baby.
Rainbows line your skin
Under the darkest of skies, the fullest of moons
Is there gold at the end you think?

You bruise beautifully baby.
Every cloud has a silver lining
A bit of colour in a world of black and blue
See? You do it without even trying.

You bruise beautifully baby.
Wipe the tears from your eyes, because
at least you bruise beautifully baby.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Dreams of cars and snow and crashes

I had a dream last night.
It was more like a nightmare.

No monsters, no demons, just enough discomfort to make me twist and turn till the anxiety finally sprung my eyelids open at 2 a.m in the morning.

I had a dream about driving, I had a friend in the car, someone I hadn't seen for a while, and someone who had caused some discomfort in recent months.
I was driving my car, going somewhere I'm not sure where. And I was speeding slightly, the feeling was that I had to get where I wanted to go.

I'm winding on mountain roads, and there's snow, and for some reason this surprises me, and I attempt to slow down. But it's too late, the car is swerving and twisting left to right to left, and I have no control whatsoever. I can tell there's not enough momentum to gravely harm me or my friend, but the car becomes a priority, and I'm worried about hitting it badly.

By the time I get the car under control, it's only a few minutes before once again the car is beyond any command. And the feeling was horrible.

I see the edge of the road, and it looks like I'm headed there, a cliff that overlooks a deep deep ravine, and the only option I have is to crash into a parked car.

And I do. I get out of the car, look at the damage, it's been destroyed from the left side. My friend gets out of the car inspects the car, and begins to talk to onlookers who have come to check on us.

It's snowing, and cold, and I realise my car is missing wheels.Three in total. This takes over my thoughts, and I begin to look at the road we had come from, skid marks in the snow, wet dirty slush christening the slight uphill, and someone shouts that one of the wheels is further down. I run down, my breath fogging up and drifting into my eyes, cold wind pinching my cheeks.

I see one wheel on the side of the road, and its dismantled into two parts. I may not be a mechanic, but I know wheels don't do that. The inner balloon tube is a weird flower shape, and as I look on, I find another one of the inner tubes off the road, dangling from a tree coming out from the side of the mountain.

What exactly possesses me to reach for it, I'm not sure, but the next thing I know, I'm kneeling on the snow on a cliff side, the cold damp seeping through my jeans, reaching out for it.

I can hear my breath, and the warm blood pulsing through my neck as I stretch and stretch and I feel feeble and weak and I begin to lose balance. The anxiety of being in a car crash is adding up, images of my car side crumpled, the fear as I attempted to keep it all together, the helplessness. I'm upset, and distressed, and I wake up.

My phone is blinking blue, I check and find a message, reply in a groggy daze that I just had a nightmare, and turn over to my other side, thankful that my car is parked at the end of the road, thankful that it's not snowing, and thankful that I woke up before I felt any worse.

I read that among other things, dreaming about car accidents is a sign that one feels they are not in control of their lives, or a situation, whether the situation has or will happen.

Why are my dreams telling me what I already know?
A rude awakening at 2 a.m. doesn't make things any clearer, just more disturbing, with a twist in the stomach and slight fear as a cherry on top of a rotten dessert.

I guess I'll be more careful driving my car these next few days. And I'll check my wheels too.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Little Miss Muffet in the desert

In this city of sand and fake life, I sit in the peculiar cool of building shade. The trees they stand tall, but despite being real, they seem frozen and a sham, green statues unhappily planted in pots and plots cut out of concrete, forced to bring a bit of green and verve to a metal and glass kingdom built of dreams bought by clammy back pocket wallets.

The people they are like the trees somehow. It's a weird sensation to walk here a visitor, among those who live here. They function normally, almost too normally. Stepford wives with a damning and horrible twist. Perhaps this is just my feeling. I'd rather not find out.

I sit on the patio furniture that's orphaned from an actual patio, and listen to my music, drowning out the talk of work, social scandals and sighted fashion faux pas', sipping on a milkshake with artificial berry flavouring.

"And along came a spider and sat down beside her..."

It must've landed on my hand from a grey office windowsill, craving a bit of warmth, a tiny little thing, with 8 legs that wouldn't measure up to a fingernail. And I crack a smile.

It walks around the playground of my hand, as I twist and turn my wrist to keep it in view and keep it level headed. Even spiders feel gravity.
It sits on my tip of my finger and decides to change the scenery, but not leaving me completely, it dangles on its silk, weaving it slowly to gain momentum, and hey presto, a swing set to go with the palm playground. I hold it up and watch it shorten and lengthen its rope to swing smoother in the light breeze.
Thinking it perhaps would like to get off this merry go round of a ride, I offer it a table top, but the glass is not as appealing, and it scurries up its life line towards my finger. Fair enough spidey. Fair enough.

It takes a few more strolls along my love line, my health line, a little promenade on my soul line, and life line before once again venturing to the edge of a digit and dangling for a quick swing.
This time, I need to let it go.
I place it softly on a fake straw chair, and it reluctantly disappears among its weaves, once again to roam a fake plastic, metal, and glass jungle, an ambassador of what is real, a lion among cats.

Time to look for another real Little Miss Muffet.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Try a little tenderness

"Remember that guy I once told you about? The one I had the thing for a few months back, but ended up giving up on? The guitarist?" she asked, reclined on my sofa, smoking a cigarette with the TV mumbling in the background.
"Yeah, I think so. The one that started as fun, but ended up turning emotional." I replied, taking a sip of my tea.
"Yeah.. ha, him. Did I ever tell you about the time we ended up making out against his car one night?"
"Which time would that be?" I smirked. Yeah, so it was a cheeky response, but she and I were friends enough to let things like that slide.
"Funny. You're funny. Anyway, he said something that night. I still think about it sometimes." She paused for a second, as if just mentioning this spun her into a spiral of thought about that very same thing.
"We had stumbled out of the bar near that restaurant on Hamra street. It was near to 3 a.m. and he offered to drive me to my car. What a lame excuse for a goodnight kiss if you ask me, but the mood was right, and he was a sweetheart, so we walked towards his car, and well, ya da ya da ya da, I pulled him towards me and we sorta fell onto the side of his car. We kissed and stroked and well, you don't need all the details, you've done it before..."
"Of course... so? What's the point of your mini risque story?" I interrupted.
"Well, there was a moment where I slid my hands under his shirt, and caressed his back, and sides. Softly. There wasn't anything very animalistic about it you know?" She took a drag of her cigarette, and I heard the slight crackling of the tobacco. "He stopped, pulled his head back and looked me straight in the eye, smiled slightly and stroked my cheek with his hand, so I asked him what was wrong, you know what he told me? He said no one had shown him tenderness like that before. It practically made me flinch in shock, and then I felt sad for him, you know? Can someone really not feel simple tenderness before? I mean, is it even possible?" Her eyes and tone became twisted with confusion and slight melancholy.
"I don't know... I suppose yes, at the same time no. I guess it shouldn't be possible to never experience that sort of basic affection, but surprisingly, a lot of people don't." I say, and realise how scientific and dry I sounded.
She turned out her cigarette in the ashtray on the low table in front of her. As she blew the smoke in a straight stream that slowed and dissipated closer to me, her mouth curved slowly downward, and once again, I lost my friend to thought. Her eyes were a tell tale. They slowly strained with sadness, and as they fluttered slightly, I saw her lower eyelid line with silver.
"I think that's the saddest thing I've ever heard..." she said still staring into the space in front of her, heavy with remnants of smoke, before turning to look straight at me and continuing "..right?"
I sighed softly, and felt the burn of her question.
"Yea... it is. It really is."

She straightened up, stood, and walked out onto the balcony letting some fresh air in.
And in the sunlight, she lit another cigarette, and looked up at the sky.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Despite everything...

... it caught up with me.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Shaving with Occam's razor

She realises things are getting too much.
And everyone is loud.

She decides to shave it off. All off.
She grabs the razor, and glides it over the layers of excuses and questions and thoughts that clog up her lungs, and blur her vision.

Things don't have to be so complicated, she thinks to herself.
The simpler the better.
Don't overthink, don't make excuses, don't wrap yourself around yourself, looking for yourself, she tells herself...

She grabs the razor and shaves. It all falls to the floor and spills through the gaps under the doors, and out the windows and into the drains.

Thank you Occam she whispers. Thank you for trying.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

3 a.m. minuet

"You know what your problem is?"
"Which one?"
"Hah. funny. *raises glass*"
"Ok... what.."
"You're a very good person...."
"That's my problem??"
"Ok. No. Wait, let me finish. You're a very good person, and I'm being honest here because I'm sorta tipsy, ok? You always put your self in these existential inner turmoil situations."
"You're a very good person... and I think that you want to be happy. You'd like to be happy."
"But I think that somewhere in that head of yours, you don't think you deserve to be."
"...*short pause*... drink your goddamn wine."