The Pains of Wandering

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Chapter 3

An attempt to start an introduction

[We started with some reminiscing, nostalgia that survived the atrocities in an old Arab village. But until the famous Crescent of the Levant17 appears once more, we are left with no choice but to be patient, utterly patient. Then we can pretend to forget what they are planning!!

Where did your thoughts take you?

- I beg your pardon..

- And I will sail across the drama sea towards deadly tornados..!]

.. Four strangers.. we were. As for the fifth guy- for now- it is me: a lover of cypress trees, which one day years and years ago belonged to my gullible grandparents.. before life became so complicated!

The only new person in the car now is the driver, a stranger whom I don’t know.

- Here we go.. that’s better.. what do you think?

- Here (you) started when no one has!

- Alright then: a hot tiring day outside.. and the struggle, what do you think?

- No.. it is day/night.. a (shi*) day!

- No.. leave it the way it was. A day outside.. a gray day outside and.. the intervention.. yes this is better.

- So we were trapped, the five of us inside of a car, and then..

- Then what?

- Then.. the road.. Who knows.. and the concerns.. Who knows? Then..

- Then what?

- Then we get into stories of identities, then..

- Then we fall silent and let our sorrows bleed conversations!

- Actually.. not conversations but telepathies as sad as funerals. Excuse me, I meant bodily talks.. our bodies are still just like the bodies of the dead!

- Actually.. we knit our lips shut just like we are used to doing.. I mean just like they taught us. Just like my grandfather’s memories of that pure old Jordan that once was.. pure like (Zamzam water18). We forgot that Jordan just like we forgot that water. Pardon.. like!!!

- We started by relating the old memories, nostalgia that survived the atrocities of remembering. But until the famous Crescent of Levant comes back.

We can only be patient.. nationally patient!

Then and only then, can we pretend to forget, I suppose, what they are planning.. cooking and smelling.. and also having delicious bites!

- Where did your thoughts take you?

- Here I come back from my Sisyphian trip.. from my tiring trip on foot..!

- Coming back? And what tiring trip on foot are you talking about?

- Have you forgotten? Don’t you remember:

- (I am dragging my heavy feet across the desert of days

and I look.. desperately, to the horizon.. building the mansion of my dreams)..

Could you finish what you introduced?

No worries.. I will.

I will sail across the sea of drama towards its deathly tornados!

- Don’t you mean the grand issue.. you have philosophized in the matter till you separated the Arabs and their blood!!

- Yes, it is exactly that.. I’m going to lie.. I don’t care anymore. It’s exactly that.. yes, but.. without the exaggerations of the black Arab tragedy.

- I don’t get it?

- I mean I am going to write about the grand issue.. the exact same issue that drags everyone into the exact same labyrinth.

- The labyrinth? 19

Yes Hasanein20 is trapped just like the rest of the men!

The Labyrinth witnesses the fears and concerns of growing old and going back to one’s birthplace. At least that is what I understood when I read between the lines.

- I don’t recall this in the novel?

- It is between the lines.. like I just told you. What did you expect? Did you want him to say it just like that, straight up?

Don’t interrupt me.. and listen:

When the sun sets.. a single lady comes, with the colors of rainbows on her ugly face. Then their so-called chief comes to her with nothing like a beast after he has drunk a mixture of salt and burnt oil, before alcohol/ cologne.. and whatnot!

- Cologne/ alcohol?

- Old cologne.

- What else?

- Yes.. only that.. they drink it and spray it on themselves as well!

- That was back in the day.. in the days of poverty.. days that cannot accept the current rich status. Or actually it was forever ago.. years that elevated some people high up and pushed others way down.. but that is long gone.. what’s the matter with you? Why can’t you forget?

They themselves have forgotten the gullibility of their grandparents. Were yours perfect?

- No not at all.. it’s all for the sake of writing/ storytelling, no more. Nonetheless, God forgives, but my damned grudging pen does not.

- I’m lost when you got lost.

- Don’t worry about it. Let me continue:

He put on the devil’s horn. He never takes it off. He has a tattoo on his arm. There are countless scars and stitches on his face, forehead and neck. Every once in a while, Mr. genius, he comes back again: the grandson of pagans and the heir of fortunetellers. Then!!

- Then what, Mr. Bipolar Drama?

- I lost my train of thought…

- Are you talking to me or to someone else, my wise subconscious?

- Mock me however you want.. no.. I didn’t forget:

- Yes.. they get the same grand question/ riddle. Am I going to mention it, liar?

My oppressed thoughts are not coming from him..

- What? Are you being conceited on me now?

- I apologize to you and to your schizophrenia! I am just sharing my thoughts with myself out of boredom, no worries.. and:

He comes to them from a Parisian village. He comes from afar but he is indeed close to them, like family!

(Come again???!) (Ah!!!):

He is as close to them as the pain of (!!!) (Where are you from, the present, you worthless scum?)

- I hear you three quarters of the time.. I just understood this last one.. but not quite..

- What distracted your attention?

- They were screaming, not talking. The voice of the second one is frightening me!! I’m tired.. I’ll go on:

Nearby.. within the grasp of their hands.. A jaguar or a long black limousine is taking him to Orly or Charles de Gaulle airport.. a limo as long as my fears because of the craziness of Arab state leaders and the coldness of world’s state leaders when it comes to the rights of Arab human being. I am talking about basic human rights.. of course.. and with Siberian measures declared by the Pentagon, executed by a white federal perestroikan thermometer.. white to match up with the single unipolar superpower regime that is whiter than detergent! Nonetheless, these measures were never the result of the voices of the people of the Arab nation. Of course, there has never been great technology, trips to the moon trying to catch up to get a share of the star wars since it had been split down the middle between two specific players!!

- What are you talking about?

- I’m lost again.. excuse me, it was just a minor comment by the naughty subconscious. I’ll continue right away:

And.. at the terminal where the airplane Boeing 999 waits. An airplane that has a sleepy color and a warm platform. A plane that comes from one of the blond countries! A plane that is about to smell like Oud21, warm Oud, boiling, euphoric, and shiny all the time because of a domineering order mentioned in the will of Sheikh Winston22.

- You lost me again. I didn’t understand a thing of what you just said!

- Really? You didn’t understand? You are naive and nice.

- Those are good traits my friends. They are up high and you can’t reach them.

- I’ll try, sir, to reach up to your naivety.

- No.. that is too much, I didn’t mean it in that way, I am fine the way it is!

- All right then, let me tell you a strange story you might like:

I will land with my supernatural bird all the way towards the bottom line of the story. The chamber of grace is my grandmother’s tent. With my lovely lady, we stay up late together. When I meet her, I kiss her hands and salute her bread and her blessings.

Her bread is so far away now, just like our national dream.

My grandmother, may her soul rest in peace, used to say that her bread was sweet as sugar, smelled like cologne, lit up like the moon..

Oh.. I swear I can almost smell the village from here, except that it is probably polluted with the poisonous smoke of cars.


Life is cruel!!

Where.. where are those wonderful days now??!

- (Who are you calling upon when there’s not a single person in the desert to hear you?)

- Sir.. this life is never permanent.. not even for Abu Zeid.23

- When life takes you really low.. just say: oh God!!!

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