Monday, 14 April 2008

Six Scenes in no particular order


The sun stained the Mediterranean pink, Grapefruit pink, as it melted into the water, dissolving and tinting the sea. 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... And i sit in front of this sea of love, and 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, and warn me of its depths.. but it suffices to sit on the sand, and watch the sun bring a day to its end. It will rise tomorrow.. the Same Sun. Same sun sets and rises, we live one day. Our whole lives have been one day continuously, and will continue to be one day.
Same Sun, but never the same sea.


I'll call him Abou Nour. I don't know his name, but I know he has a daughter. And I see a light in his face, a tender glowing ember in his wrinkles and his sun whipped skin. Pupils outlined in a light blue of age, leading to a soft brown of tenderness.
He doesn't beg. He walks Bliss St, with a few lighters and packes of gum, and occasionally some lottery tickets. I first saw him in my second year of university, he came up to a group of people I was with, and when they waved him away or apologised, he did not persist. I saw something in this worthy of respect, so I went after him and I gave him some money. I don't usually like to give beggars money, except if they are old. But like i said, Abou Nour doesn't beg. He got used to seeing me, and if i didnt have change, I'd apologise, and he'd reply by placing his hand on his head or on his chest, and say "thank you thank you, your kindness humbles me".
I saw him on my last visit to beirut. He was buying a coffee from Abou Naji's, so I said hello, and asked him if he needed anything, to eat or drink. He, as usual, placed his hand on his chest, and thanked me, but declined. I persisted, a sandwich? His coffee? a bottle of water! He gratefully refused. As I went to the till to pay for my cigarettes and bottle of water, I asked Radwan behind the till, if Abou Nour usually gets coffee from here, he nodded, with numbers in his eyes and floating above his head, as he calculated the many amounts of change he was returning simultaneously. "Add 4 coffees to my stuff". The numbers paused and fell momentarily as he made sense of what i said. "What?". "Take the price of 4 cofees from me, and don't forget that i paid when he comes for the next 4 times." A brief smile as he nods his head downwards. "Tikrami". As I left, I saw Abou Nour, who was unaware of my actions. "3am, let me get you something to eat, please? Its nearly lunch time. Change your mind. A zaatar saj? It'll take a minute". He kept refusing, showering me with praise of my generosity. In the end I told him i was traveling, and he wouldn't see me for a while, and afterall it was only a sandwich, and he accepted. He ordered the cheapest sandwich without any extras. As the Saj dude was making the sandwich, Abou Nour disappeared for a while, and came back shocked. "You paid for my coffee also?!?" "Yes, please, don't think of it. If we don't take care of you, who will?". Abou Nour looked at me in silence, searching my eyes for some sort of explanation. I think at one point he was thinking whether some ill or harm had come to him as a result of me, or someone I knew, and this was me making up for it. To be honest, I found his confusion confusing. If people did more selfless acts, it wouldn't be confusing. And thats the way it should be. I cannot explain why I was doing what I was doing, and I cannot say I was getting anything out of it. I'm not praising myslef, not feeding my ego. This was something that one does. period. Abou Nour doesnt say anything for a few minutes, and I feel him looking at my face, searching for answers, while I look at the saj being made. He breaks his silence by stating "I'm from the South". I do not flinch, perhaps he's trying to provoke me, to see if I know, or to see if this will change me. "Ahla wa Sahla' i say, and ask him about his being in Beirut, to break the stare and the silence. I find out his lives in Beirut with his wife and daughter, and here I tell him, i am an only daughter too. And he becomes my father in 20 years for a mere 3 seconds. I give Abou Nour the saj, and tell him goodbye and he thanks me silently, and i walk off quickly. I do not want thanks, I dont need it.
And then the oddest thing happens. My dad appears in my head, and nods, and smiles, and cries. and I'm crying his tears. I'm suffocating. I'm gasping for breath as I walk up Jean D'Arc and i can't explain it, and i'm trying to stop it because I don't like to cry in public, and if I'm crying here of all places its like crying in a roomful of my peers. But I cant. So i put my head down, and cry.


I'm in the shower, and I'm tired, and agitated and I stand there naked, arms crossed and clinging to my shoulders. 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 as I battle 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 of the rumbling sound you hear on board a plane. And suddenly I'm on the plane back to London. i've left beirut and my mother, and my friends, and i'm on a plane, strapped in economy, trying to shift away from my neighbor whose asleep, bending onto 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, in the shower in Beirut.


Look man, I don't like pain. So bear with me.
He looks at me, clasping my wrist in his gloved hand, and nodding slightly, but not really caring. And I hear the familiar sound, like a dentist drill, but not in your mouth, and needle-wielding.
Man, do you mind if i play my music loud? Inno, will it disturb you?
What are you going to play?
Akhouna Jimi, no I don't mind. he says, monotone and with a poker face that could make anyone fold.
Ok, ok. Yalla. Leik, its important you get it perfect? Ok? Ok. I'm talking to much. Khalas, go. Just dont let me shift or stuff. OK. yalla. Ouf. ya lateef.
and it burns. Shit, I forgot this part.
It burns and I swear out loud, and he raises his eyebrow towards me, and still concentrating on my wrist, he mutters "TO me or the pain?"
La2 man, la2. To the pain. Kiss ikhta akhou sharmouta, ikhsssssssssssssssssssss.
Trial of fire and ink.
5 minutes later, Little Wing is flying in my head, and I'm in pain, but unmoved, and its numbing and therapeutic and cathartic. And in fact, part of me is enjoying it.
No, its not sadism or masochism. Give me a break.
I'm not sure what it is, perhaps its a pain I can control, I know its beginning and its end, so I know when my relief is served. And that makes me happy. To be able to draw the rainbow after the storm myself.
45 mins later he's done. And my arm is hot and throbbing and signed.
and its perfect, and I'm smiling. I've been smiling for he past 30 mins, to the surprise of his assistant, who at one point asks me if I'm in pain, possibly to check I've not gone catatonic, and I guess some concern considering my anxiety in the beginning.
Yes I'm in in pain. It hurts like hell, i tell her, but its ok. No pain no gain. (Cliche feefmeiser, cliche)

No pain no gain.


They killed the Captain.
They butchered Bob Dylan.
They made Cobain turn in his grave and Bowie want to be in one.
They made Bryan worse.
They pissed off Andre.
They suffocated humour.
And on top of it all they were unnecessarily loud, invading my territory, and delaying the playing of good music.

They killed the Captain.


I take the long way home after a night out, with music in the passenger seat. He talks, I listen. He tells me of his broken heart, the rain dogs, the barfly.
He recounts stories of catholic girls, girls at the bottom of his glass, the redhouse his baby lived in, and sometimes he hums violins and pianos. And I listen.
He's my favourite companion. An ironically silent one. And he doesn't get annoyed if I drift off. After all, I drift off into his arms.


May Hamady said...

jamilatone jamilatone jamilatone kitabatouki,
i love them all and can't have any preferences. they are always culminating. every word can be touched felt seen and embraced. as if one is looking at "Abou Nour" (issm 3ala moussama.3ala Al Moussama) his body language and his heart,behind your shoulder. it reminded me of your "shari3 asha3b' did'nt grasp it when i saw it looking for nerdy nake art!Beirut's streets and nassha were far away, vanished rolled in the old carpet of a twilight-zone war. in Beirut, Sindibad's carpet was hit by a war plane. i shall frame your beautiful "shari3 asha3b".
the "grapefruit pink sea" how true the "same sun never the same sea" and time and space become one as our life becomes a continuous one day timed by sunrise and sunset."floods of silence" when meeting with your silent companion...."you write like you paint" and when you write your soul speaks. Bayyik feeki wa2if ou Allah ma3ik. min7ibbik. See you in your night ramblings and daydreamings.

May Hamady said...


Blogger said...

BongaCams is the best live sex webcam website.