Diary of an Elderly Young Person (pg. 22-30) – part #3

I hope I am getting better with every update. I’m starting to get used to Subhi’s subtle humor and the ironic eye with which he looks at everything with. He often makes references to poets and songs so I thought that I’d write notes whenever I spot those references. Hope you enjoy part #3.


Those Who Have Gone Astray

I start praying. I mumble ‘Al-Fatiha’ until I reach His saying: “nor those who have gone astray”.

Moments of peace, and I am living in the spaciousness of the words. I don’t know how lost do I need to be more in order to be one of those who have gone astray.

I swivel around in an orbit of questions, and there are no answers except for circles of dull words that don’t satisfy me or please me.

[T/N: Al-Fatiha is the first chapter of the Qura’an that is composed of seven short verses. These verses ask God for guidance and the two last verses in Al-Fatiha are: “Guide us to the Right Path. The path of those upon whom Thou has bestowed favors, Not of those who Thou has cursed once nor of those who have gone astray.” I hope this sheds light to Subhi’s thoughts.]


What Is Worth Living

Forced silence.

I dive in the last of my academic swamps, and take another step on the road to freedom.

Mahmoud Darwish raises his voice, “On this Earth, there is what is worth living.”

I try to earnestly believe him, but with there’s no use.

 [T/N: Darwish was a Palestinian poet who often wrote of freedom and politics.]


Diary of an Elderly Young Person

The remains of cups of used stimulants rest next to the poetry volumes of Amal Dungul. I immerse myself in a swamp of chemical compounds and a creative chaos of papers.

A faint tempo morning…

A tired self and eyes closed from the past and present.

The tired lungs rinses itself from the warm color, the poison is blown out, the closed door and the eyes and the sounds all fade, and I die on the stairs.

God damn it, today’s the exam.


Morning Rituals

Waking up early.

A traditional European breakfast: toast crowned with Dutch butter and some processed mango juice. A mental and physical relaxation.

A glance at the road empty from passersby from my big balcony, a partial separation from myself and others. I immerse myself in details; I recall Khalid’s verses:

“Every morning I remove myself from my nostalgia,

I put out some of my remaining flames,

I wipe away the rust of sorrow,

I forget that you were my homeland.”

A deep breath; the air here is so clean to the point that it’s worrying.

The sound of the National Geographic channel urges me to more knowledge, to feel more alive.

A quick scanning of newspapers, and some morning greetings from friends that are seperated from me by three thousand kilometers, joined by a combination of electronic chips and optical fibers.

Good Morning.


About Government Departments

Your papers don’t move, unless you move them yourself.

Government employee: is that person whose appreciation towards himself increases peerlessly when he proves to you that the paper is missing a “signature” or a “permit”, or maybe his self-appreciation increases even more if he proved to you that the permit’s form is incorrect and that you have to go in another vicious cycle.

Director of any person’s office: is often a person who has an inferiority complex and worships routine, and, in most cases, an idiot.

Nepotism: a crown on the heads of toll-collectors that is not felt by anyone except for those in the government departments.

Pharmacist: a person that feels a rising appreciation inside of government departments in exchange for passing a strip of ‘tramadol’.

The Eagle Seal: it’s what turns a paper filled with chicks’ scrawls into a gold key.

If you thought that you finished, then know that you’ll be starting all over again.

Come tomorrow: the most famous catchphrase inside any government office, and right now, there are several substitutes like: “Are you in a hurry? If you have something to do, then go and do it then come back”, or “Leave it to me for a while”, or lately, “Ms. Tufeeda is not here today”.

Be a man, and go around in the government departments.


The Falling of Blackberry Leaf

Have you ever had the chance to see a very tempting back for which you give half a smile that announces a mixture of the Joker’s slyness and George Bush’s happiness in his invasion of Iraq, and then you proceed and lift your hand with everything you’ve got before “planting” it right on someone’s back on the basis that he is Mohammed, the son of Mrs. Laila, and when he turns around and reveals his fangs to find that he is Mohammed indeed, only he’s the son of El-Shahaat Mabrook -supposing that he has kids- and he goes on to give you a valuable lesson in manners in a practical way?

The funny thing is that you will try to make him sympathesize with you a lot; you will mention to him how “helpless” you are, and how you can’t “hurt” a fly, and that you can barely watch wrestling on TV without fainting. You will tell him about Mohammed, the son of Mrs. Laila, and how similar he is to him, and about Mrs. Laila herself and the party on Friday. You will tell him about the ‘Tae Kwan Do’ belt that you pretend to be the world champion with, and about your morning Foul sandwitch.

You will cry a lot so he wouldn’t harm you.

You will strip away from the lies that are wrapped around you, until the last blackberry leaf falls, and you find yourself completely naked in front of the truth!

Only then will you realize how much resounding falling is.


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