The Pains of Wandering

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Chapter 4

Another attempt

[It is because you are still the same person you have always been, Young Bacha24. You, yes, you, are still as stupid as you have always been simply because you do not dance well on ropes. Dancing, good sir, is a sport, agility, fitness, and an entertainment, but in your particular case, your survival.. and your own life is on the line when it comes to dancing on ropes. There are more benefits to that as well, but you do not know them. Only they know. Since they had taken you on a lonely night, you have been a failure!!]

- You’re hallucinating. This is the outcome of the monologues of the pains of wandering.

This is from your inner grey oppressed subconscious. Or what is it exactly?

- No.. I am actually the shadow.. I am the echo of that story!

I am the side note/ the margin/ the sign!

- I am.. I am.. then what?

- You said you would be patient with me!!

- I apologize.. go ahead.

- It’s all right. I’m just a soulless body.. tired of my identity.. from nothing to a ghost!

- I don’t get it.

- You said you would be patient with me?!

- I’m sorry.. I won’t do it again. Go on, sir.

- What I meant was that I feel like I’ve been dealing with this for way too long.

- Now you have gone back to your desperate talk.

- You said you would bear with me!

- Pardon me.. but quickly please, Sisyphus!

- I mean I feel like I am burning with my issue.. ever since I was kid all the way to my senior years!

And right there.. as you will see.. is the rest of it. It is a disaster.

- God is the savior, good sir. I swear, Mister Young, we know that “I am.. I am..” I swear to God we understand, your majesty!

Your message has been delivered.

You are killing me with your kindness.. what is it with what I’ve said?!

Is there something wrong with all of that?

Is there something new, you genius and mood swinger?

- Now I only say to you that you have to be patient with me!

But with that.. I ask you what is this anger all about?

- Wrath, actually. Who do you think you are?

Young Bacha, you are still the same person you have always been.

You.. you.. are as stupid as you were.


Because you cannot dance on ropes, for example!

- Your same old remark, right?

- Yes.. that’s because dancing, good sir, is a sport.. entertainment and agility!

But in your particular case, dancing is on their ropes, on their terms, their way, is also your survival.. your life depends on it. There are some more benefits you know nothing of. Only they know. They had taken you one night when the moonlight was absent. Since then, you have been a failure.

Man.. you should change for God’s sake!

Change.. just for once!

Just this one tiny time!

This is the name of the game and these are the rules!

They designed it, therefore, they own it.. they run it.. they rule it illegitimately.

Try.. just for one day. If it’s not for your dying identity, do it for your children.. those little angels.. the victims of your lame depression.

Due to your silent demon!

Due to catchphrases told by the people of Noah: (the wall.. the wall.. son!) and (plant your head amongst the other heads and march on!)

(The heads).. yes.. the aging heads, (not) Moscow’s Rooss.25

Oh.. friend!

Your children.. yes, those fragile suffering kids.. those hungry kids. They’re suffering because of your stupidity and because of your sadness.

Actually.. because your mind is absent.. your mind knows nothing about dancing.

Because your mind understands romance as some kind of gymnastics law!

I wish your eyes saw the real definition of smartness, which is how to (extract) dimes out of rocks!

And along those lines, your sterile chicken would lay golden eggs because of a verminous miracle.. but it would soon be gone with the wind! On the other hand, their chickens do lay golden eggs for them and you don’t pay attention.. and your people are too good to speak up!

- I say..

- You say what?!

Now you are back to the I.. I am.. I am.. man, who are you? Nice to meet you.. screw you and all of your talk.. you’ve really made me mad, man!

- Okay okay.. O-KAY. easy, calm down, don’t be angry..

- I won’t.. as long as you get back to your initial point.. do you remember or have you forgotten?

- The rest of the novel?

- Yes.. and don’t get sidetracked..

- Definitely.. whatever you say. I will get back to writing the story:

(an introduction to start an attempt)..

.. We were trapped.. the five of..!

- Before you trap us, and trap them, and put us inside of the trapping room.. wait.. hold up.. do you need to use the bathroom26?

If you do, please stand up and go! I got lost, good sir! Just a minute ago you set the title as (an attempt to start an introduction)..

And now you come to me with another title:

(An introduction to start an attempt)!

What do you mean?

What do you intend by this sudden change?

Actually, what’s the difference between the two of them? Or is it, as usual, one of your artistic scenarios?

- No.. none of what you said. Nonetheless, I am sorry, really, my apologies. I surely have bothered you.. surely! No worries.. without a title it is.. so:

- I was their fifth, actually their fourth.. that is better, no.. it doesn’t matter. I know myself, I.. I am the shadow.. with pride!

And a driver, and three faceless passengers with the heaviest of baggage. We were squeezed inside of a Sarfeess.27 Our foreheads were dripping with sweat.. colorful sweat.. hot sweat due to August’s boiling weather. Sweat drops eagerly looking to the left and to the right.. searching- before they fall and disappear into their gray nothingness- for a paper so that they can write and reveal the secrets of their owners’ tiring journeys.

- How?

- The picture is crystal clear, not mysterious.. but it’s clear/ revealing.. just like the airport’s security checklist of convicts trying to escape on some September evening. The checklist is as red as the lips of a girl called (Salwa)!

- So if you didn’t understand.. as in you didn’t get the analogy, then I can tell you it had the same color as some other superstar or dancer or any celebrity of your choice!

- You think I know?

- Wait.. let me finish.. the rest of them see that checklist in the color of the former American wresting champion, the Muslim (Ahmad Johnson), or his partner, the former bodybuilding champion (Tony Atlas).

- (What are you talking about for God’s sake?)

- (I meant blacker than.. anything black!)

- I still don’t understand.

- I guess it seems like I’ve become your source of mysteries.. just like that Arab guy from the Egyptian movie (Salamah) who answered:

(I swear to you.. my Arab brother.. that I have no idea what he said!)

Or just like my grandfather, may his soul rest peace, and his friend with an American tourist who asked them:

(Do you speak English?)

My grandfather asked his friend:

(What is this scum saying?)

So his friend answered:

(He is asking: do you cough at night?)!

- Be patient.. I’ll tell you about those Septemberers right away, before you get super confused.. and your mind goes way back into the past that will never come back. Before your mind goes back to some other Septemberers, who existed back in the day. No.. it’s not them that your mind was thinking about, or you know I like to get into politics?!

- I’m talking about others. They’re on the other side. They’re the holders of the plier.. or say the hammer, and they are facing the protectors of the other side of the equation.. or say the nail, and..!

- And us?

- Say, what are we without home? Without the mornings of (Souf28).. or the evening breeze of (Maleeh29) and without the bright red Jordanian (shmagh/ Hatta/ Koufeyeh), then the country would be in between two crushing sides.. no.. I’m talking about the ones nowadays, not the old ones..

Anyway!!! Those soft ones are always used to leaving.. vacationing.. outside the country.. whenever things got worse around here.. whenever a slight poverty hits us.. poor them, they don’t really know how to deal with it..

And.. that is it!! People like us are always ready to eat dirt for the sake of the country’s survival and I will say no more.. if you want to know more, just ask any any (Falah) or (Khalaf) or (Findi) or (Jazi) or (Hazaa) or (Mithayel) or or or30.

Anyway!! These Septemberers are always used to leaving, yes they go for plastic surgeries, weight loss surgeries, tanning, and (Raha) chilling. Of course it’s not the (Raha31) we know.. this one is for us to bite on to repress our hunger!

Yes, repress the hunger.. we used to stack them in ridiculous numbers for our long journeys towards the insides of (Tabarbour) when we were studying for high school graduation exams. Those long journeys to the territories of (Khalaf Mansour) one of my high school friends who died fighting for our country.. one of the martyrs of the great Jordanian army.. (sigh) I miss those old days! Khalaf and I used to be prominent passengers on the 10 am bus at the start of high school at al- Hussein high school. We were huge fans of the Bollywood superstar (Rajinder Kumar) the star of (Sinjam) and (the lover) and (Suraj) and many more! Even Khalaf- may his soul rest in peace- used to imitate Kumar in everything, since he had that dark skinned Bedouin and even Indian color. He started with the haircut, then he joined the army, and it ended when he died for his beloved country.. the difference is that Kumar died as a character in a movie whereas Khalaf died like that for real..

- Are you actually answering my questions or are you writing your high school friend’s diaries?

- I’m sorry.. I’ll tell you the story of that airport list right away. Those (normal) patriotic citizens are used to leaving the country around June or July or August to come back around September and so on. Except that one specific fall in the 90s, they added August and October with September to their vacation, concerned that they would get a stroke if the eastern gate opened wide from Trebil- Iraq all the way to Shmeisani or Abdoun. Then, you can count those Septemberers from thieves and embezzlers to those who escaped!

- What about stretching and whatnot?

- Oh, I meant what you do before exercising. I didn’t mean face stretching surgeries.. who knows!

As for jumping, I meant gymnastics. I didn’t mean jumping as in overstepping the country’s laws.

It’s the country of the half eaten/ rotten wheat bread, and please don’t read between the lines!!

As for fat suction surgeries, I’m going to talk with no shame now! Is there any shame in extracting the excess fat in one’s body? This is what I meant.. not extracting and stealing from the good people who are thin due to inequality with those who take everything from them.

As for tanning.. I would like to recommend (The Masters of the Subconscious32) the novel, not the story, but if you don’t want the recommendation, here is the bottom line of it. They want this famous bronze color.. simply.. because they want to be like the real men who spend their lives protecting this great nation or it would be black like a melodrama that is forbidden to be seen by the world just because it is against those who sell their country in a heart beat just like those Septemberers and.. that is it!!!

- (What is it with you for God’s sake)?

- (Where is this going? What are you trying to accomplish with this? You made me sick to my stomach listening to you, so what do you want now?)

- I am sorry.. I will get back to the story, so:

.. I, and a driver, and three faceless men, were squeezed inside of a vehicle, then all of us.. or say all of them said: we..!

- Or say the foreheads spoke.. it’s better like this, those foreheads that were dripping with free sweat are the ones that have the right to speak up in this very messed up situation.

- It’s all right. The foreheads spoke, and they intuited that they bowed to God in real submission.

- When do you meet him, sir?

- For mercy and rescue, you mean?

- Of course, my good friend.. since you pulled me into this!

- The answer is yes. It’s because the conversation has turned into prayers, and thus, patriotism is the essence of praying!

- Patriotism?

Here you go back again to your patriotic blabbering and national babbling!

- What do you want then?

- I want a little bit of truth..

Some hidden harsh realities..

It’s not new. All of us in addition to whoever resembles us, you may say, is concerned with the commandments of patriotism and belonging. Personally, I said it once in my poetry, which the weight is sucked out of, that I have a sense of patriotism that if its left hand-sided is dropped on a spinning orbit, it would still, despite everyone, spin too!!

Tired.. in deed, and encumbered with the integrity of belonging to this beautiful nation.

- Talking to shadows.. then, that is probably better.. purer.. we carry and we are carried.. just like in that old story..

- Foreheads actually talk.. just like you said. You were sweating, for us, and suffering, for it- writing this tragic attempt!

- (Oh wow.. those foreheads speak Arabic!)

- (…)!

- (I swear.. and English too)!

- (All This is the negatives of the movies that weakened your eyes.. you.. shadow)!!!

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