Circles

Round and round she goes.

I could hear the noise
coming from a near distance.

Frantic breathing,
sweat trickling down her forehead,
whirling and running
into a synchronous of perfection.

Hopes and fears,
and realizations of a life lost,
with nothing dear,
a hefty price and cost.

The screaming and the circles,
all what’s left now.

The only perfection she managed,
a soul abused and damaged,
was the spirals she forged as she wept,
the cries she shouted with neglect.

Last Call, #6

A new chapter is unfolding soon.

Damn.

Time flies by. In almost a month or so, I’ll be graduating from university. I swear I feel like the past three years were instant, an aberration, an anomaly in time and space.

All the greater plans are starting to unfold. So many hopes and dreams after this. I sure am waiting for the best.

It’s interesting having to think of it right now, how fruitful this whole experience was to me, and at the same time, I have this guttural feeling of how much it was a complete waste of time. I’m not sure whether to choose between any of the latter, maybe a bit of both. At this stage in my life, I sincerely believe that I didn’t accumulate enough knowledge. I used to always believe that getting an education was all about you know, getting ready for a job in the field you prefer in the future.

I’m realizing it’s a lot more than that. I grew as a person, and I had my ideas challenged, and ever changing, which is quite amazing considering the current state of academia, where any original or different ideas are being shut down. This is by far the biggest blessing in my opinion. Being told you can’t think that way, or you can’t adhere to a certain set of ideas, is the literal meaning of fascism, and with all the stories I’m hearing from friends, I am blessed indeed.
This upcoming month is destined to pass by quickly, and honestly, I can’t wait for it to be over, so I can start all over again.

Perfect Mornings

Everyone loves them, no?

She sits in the same seat, every morning I start my day with looking at her. Her bag goes either on the floor, or the chair next to her. She positions herself, always glancing at the teacher, eyes screwed still onto him, taking everything in, deep into the lecture.

Me? I’m trying to sneak a glance at her every now and then. Blonde curly hair, with pink ends, luscious lips like I’ve never seen before, and a smile that never seems to fade away. I’m not sure why she’s always smiling, but I sure do like it. What I like most about her though is her eyes. They remind me of something I’ve never seen before, yet they still remind me of that thing I speak of, strange indeed.

I don’t know what sparked my interest. I’ve known her, for a while actually, but I never realized her childlike personality, and how in the same time, you can feel a sense of grit and toughness. To me, a woman with that particular combination is one ought to be fought for, like Hemingway on a hunting trip, killing every danger on his way.

It always amazes me, that sudden surge of thoughts and feelings towards someone you are familiar with, but never really appreciated their beauty and mind. She seems to be lost, not always sure, and very careful, which is all more attractive. Insecurities make a person, not perfections. I don’t care for one’s perfections, those are easy to tell and handle, but imperfections are what constitute a person, and what really makes them who they are.

She’s distant. I don’t think anything will happen, and I don’t think I will pursue anything with her. You know, don’t you think that sometimes it’s better that things be left the way they are? I’m scared I won’t have the same appreciation I have for her. A glimmer of hope and sparkle to my mornings, let’s leave it that way, shall we?

A Touch of Happiness, #4

Not a great time to be alive, but hey, it’s all about the little things.

I’ve been feeling blue lately. I don’t feel as energetic as I usually am, heck even getting out of bed is becoming a drag. Living a routine life is truly soul crushing, but I always realize that it’s necessary, and well… I just have to go through the motions of the mundane everydayness.

I’m very familiar to these terrible mood swings, and they affect me in ways that hinder me in dreadful forms. It gets as far as working the effort and energy to crack a smile that I truly mean, or to even converse with people. The worse part is that I’m not putting enough time in my studies… I always faze out, and my mind gets blurry whenever I attempt to read, or even write. It’s horrible alright, and I hope that things get better real soon.

The only thing that I look forward to however, even with all my sadness and state of being right now, is seeing her everyday, well… not everyday, but whenever my eyes fall on her. It’s crazy I know, and I’m usually not like that. But when the love bug crawls in, oh boy. All hell breaks loose for me, but in a good way.

Seeing her makes me happy, even a little hello, and a small nod or wave, make my shitty present days better. That’s how bad of a state I’m in right now, but I’ll take whatever I can get. It helps and I don’t mind having this naive sort of high school reminiscent crush. It’s the little things that get me by, and that’s the only little thing that does get me by, or the only little thing I have going on.

I’ll take that small dosage of happiness, even if nothing eventually happens, and most probably nothing will.

The Curse

It never lets you be.

Razors scratching my face, whips lashing on my skin, freezing under the icy blanket and drowning on my snowy mattress. I felt like the homeless person lying on the edge of the street, covered with his precious newspapers, trying to forget the grim surroundings that possess him; maybe, just maybe he feels home again, safe under a roof away from the horridness he has to go through.

I slept feeling there was a gun aimed at my head, with God placing one bullet in the barrel and spinning it, holy Russian roulette executed to my advantage, or is it really to my advantage? I hold my legs with both my hands, and images of me being chased by a pack of frenzied wolves’ runs wild, with the sweat trickling down my forehead, and my body shaking with despair. That’s how it feels after the euphoric heroin Mecca journey. After the withdrawal ended, my corpse felt as light as a feather, with every bone in my body as fragile as a toothpick, with my body in its usual fetus position.

I think it has to do with my unconsciousness. I want to be reborn again, rid of this disease. I want to be reborn again, as a normal person, being held by my mother all over again, and embracing the beauty of life, because there’s no beautiful sight like seeing a mother holding her newborn child.

A nightmare worse than any nightmare. This is what I see almost every night in my dreams. You know, there’s nothing worse than quitting something, than the actuality of it remaining to exist in your head. You feel clean, but you don’t. You feel fine, but you don’t. It’s a never ending equation of misery and suffering, even after the merely pathetic, rugged life I was living. I thought change was certain…

I was wrong.

You never escape, and you never quit. You will always feel the poison, seeping and leaking through your veins and through your pores. It is truly a curse.

Paradigm

We live in a paradigm world.

X marks the spot
And love conquers all.
X marks the spot,
Face first through the wall.

Running wild and free from care,
Broken down and bruised,
The world to it’s knees,
Full of despair.

Sunshine and rainbows,
Beauty and wonder,
Death and destruction,
Disruption and corruption,
Blazing flames
And plunder.

A world full of mystery,
Sorrows and woes.
Friends and family,
Enemies and foes.

I marvel at this existence
As strange as it might be,
Longing to belong,
To a world of life and death,
To a world of fact and fiction.

Paradigms and strangeness
And changes.
A part of who we are.
It’s all alright,
We’ll either rise or fall.

Imad’s Barbershop

The best there ever was.

 

Barber Shops in Beirut are a complete mystery. Every time I go to get my beard trimmed or my hair cut, I always end up surprised. From the gossip, to the weird sex jokes, to the religious satire; everything and anything can be expected at a barbershop, except for a decent haircut…

Stepping inside the small crowded store in a small crowded alleyway, I entered Imad’s Barber Shop: the most famous barber in Mreijeh (the area where I live, in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut).

“Hello come in come in, my place is your place. Hussein! Come and set up Ibn l Hakeem (that’s what he calls me, he has called me that ever since I was a little boy. I bet he didn’t even know my real name. It means the son of the Doctor, yes it’s because my dad is a doctor, so I guess it’s just easier to do that).

Hussein, a little child from a poor family around the age of eleven came over and greeted me warmly and led me to the chair. Workers like Hussein are typical and easily found at any local barbershop. Barbers usually look for cheap laborers to clean the hair off the floor and to trim beards when they don’t feel like doing anything. Hussein was new. The last time I was here it was Adam. These small kids get paid 200,000 L.L (more than a 100$ in a wee bit) per month. But here’s the twist, the barber tells them it’s some sort of an internship. If the kid turns out to be a learner by sight and picks up the craft by observation, he’s hired! That obviously didn’t work out for Adam, and I fear the same fate for little Hussein. When I asked Imad why he doesn’t clean up the hair after he’s done with each client, he simply said that he can’t lower his back down much often and the extra pair of hands is always needed. He finds these kids wandering around the streets trying to sell tissues for the passing car passengers. Having to think of it, he’s somehow getting them off the street. He also added that hiring Hussein was a big hassle to him because his father wanted a piece of the money. He just had to hire him. He felt pity for him. Imagine living in a small canned house with a drunken father and seven other children. That’s no life at all. At least now Hussein has a steady income (even though the amount is absolutely nothing), and his father is getting a small bribe from Imad. It’s a win-win situation for all sides concerned.

The place looked like one big rectangle crowded with cheap leather couches and hair grooming equipment. There are three seats for the barbers to operate on and just on the side behind the entrance a small stand where you can buy some hair gel (this is how he makes most of his money as he told me).

Having skipped the wait, I was surrounded by fierce looks from all over the store. “Who’s this guy to skip after all of us? Is he the son of a leader or something?!”

I felt really bad at that moment. I mean if it was for me, I’d wait for my turn. But the irony is that I can’t wait for my turn. If my father finds out I had to wait in line at the barbershop, then no free medical care for Imad! This country works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

Twenty minutes have passed and Imad has yet to come to give me my haircut, and the customers are growing impatient. Just behind me was a mother with her twin sons. They had long blonde curly hair, dangling down to their shoulders. They were exceptionally quiet. Kids usually turn into the spawn of Satan himself in a barbershop. Just beside the family on the couch to the right two guys with short hair, VERY long beards, and had shoulders and muscles the size of my big head. They look kind of like your basic Lebanese gym freak who clearly has an insanely imbalanced set of hormones.

To the left however two old mean who clearly already had their hair cut, were just sitting there arguing whether the Syrian struggle will be over anytime soon, and both of them with great disappointment, felt that no current solution will occur.

After many prayers Imad came to me after a mere forty-five minutes, not that much of a wait, no? Not that much of a wait to be honest. The past year I remember waiting for an hour or so hours because Imad wasn’t there and I had to get a haircut by one of his employees.

“How do you want your hair cut habeebi (which means my love, I know it’s weird)?”

“As you like, everything is fine”

“All your life you’re a man of style! For your eyes! The best haircut for you!”

As I was getting my hair cut, Imad drifted every two or three minutes to have a chat with one of the customers. I’m used to it. He does this all the time. It just fascinates me how he’s still running this business and how come he’s more successful than any other barbershop in my neighborhood. He’s slow, doesn’t tend to the needs of his customers, favors them over the other based on personal interest, and doesn’t give a rat’s bottom about the hygiene of his place and yet, his crown is yet to be taken.

Imad the king of barbers, the best there ever is. Just be sure before deciding to have your haircut here to free your schedule. You’re in for a long wait.