37 and a 1/2

She speaks to herself sometimes, often mumbling. The creatures that live with her answer with curious eyes and hungry mouths. The days and nights roll like liquid slowly streaming down a steep street. She tries to write but the words are not arriving like before. She wonders, wonders at the reason, the purpose, the necessity of this existence. Her existence. This laborious rebirth; blissful, spiritual, quick in its slowness; emptying after a memory refill. She still mutters to herself. She pauses while washing the dishes like time stood in mourning for a moment. The thoughts quieter and the heart ticks away its beats. She thinks of the lust that entered her and she yearns. Yearns to settle for the unsettled.

Fireworks. Sparkles exploding in the sky, glittering, shining, casting light on the darkness for mere seconds. Fading, imploding, like an orgasm that should have lasted longer. The sounds popping, crackling, bouncing off the cold red walls of this ancient ascending earth. If her hand could be held, would that make a difference? If her lips were kissed, would she have felt complete? Her hands buried in her pockets from the sharp winds, some parts of her body ache in pain and others ache in pleasure. Would it really have made a difference? Her body held tight? Will she be aware at all? 

She might. 

blood moon

Her name is Scarlet and she is a lunar maiden of sorts. She is the priestess of the temple that is nestled between her curvy hips. She is the guardian of her sacred den, the protector of the cradle of life, the only captain of her vessel. She is the lady Atlas that carries the ocean where children swim breathless.

She is the she-wolf as she howls at her blood moon and empties her lungs into the night, embracing her mysterious sensuality. She teases and spoils the mystical goddess within her at that time of the month with a breath of relief and a flirty wink to herself in the mirror. The mood swings and the anger tantrums and the unleashed beast that devours her and everyone around her prior can finally come to its routine halt because peace comes once more to restart a period that gets her off another emotional rollercoaster ride unscathed.

Once that monthly ritual is soaked in ceremony, a smile returns to her face, to her womb, to her mind, to her body, to her heart. Emotions are settled, categorized and under control. It is a time when a glow returns to her cells. Her skin smoothens and her hair untangles. Her limbs glide and float. Her bosoms swell with an irresistible invitation to nurse all the sadness in the world.

She is not filthy. She is not unholy as holy men claim her to be. She is privileged and empowered by the very fluid that waters her garden. She is what she is meant to be, a woman in full glory; respected, adored, handled with care. She is sexy because she bleeds; she bleeds because she is sexy. She is the child in her playground of sensitivity and Greek muses feather her with inspiration and renewed awe. The cramps she feels are the sacred pulses of Mother Earth preparing her to provide the greatest gift: life.

She is a woman, just like me, a woman that is fueled by the blood moon and not run down by it, not scared of it, not bored of it, not ashamed of it.

square-headed serpent

In my advanced creative writing course, we were asked to write a surreal piece using a sentence that came out of a group exercise. The sentence came out as: “The square-headed serpent that quenches this gloomy paradise”.

I was not entirely sure how to go about it until I finally added my twist to it. I always wanted to express my dismay against social media and its evils in particular the blessed and cursed phone we carry around like we carry our soul,  so I guess this kind of worked for me in a symbolically surreal or surreally symbolic way.

It is nothing grand and it could probably use a lot of beef so yea.

Fall of humanity in biblical times does not seem to be so different from fall of humanity nowadays. We are so disconnected it is unbearable.

“The heat stretches long, as long as the solitary serpent’s slithering skin, while the sun sweats in the cloudless sky and the wind is lazy unswaying the leaves to stillness like a negligent lover. The hums and prayers of creatures are muted into a pause from the day’s heat that not even the shade of an old tree can provide a breath for life. Angels have fallen into a deep slumber twisting with shallow nightmares and binary shrieks under the blankets of faithlessness. Yet an angel is rudely awakened by the nagging alarm sounds of an uncharged phone that fell from the knowledgeable tree. The winged creature picks up the phone and notices the flickering lights from the cracked screen, it moves its head closer and squints at the slideshow pictures of a decaying Eden. Then a scream from the serpent’s heart travels across waterless streams and grassless grounds bending further the winged creature’s neck as if redemption will be found between the cursors and the dots and the dings and the dongs. So the heart is flawed and the darkness of our squared-headed serpent does quench this electronic gloomy paradise.”

the meeting

“The memories pass through my lips as we walk together to meet the stranger under my skin, the hardened reflection of what could be, tripping over and picking up the over stuffed backpack with fluorescent promises. We hold each other’s hands, cell greets cell with wide grinding smiles, and we are guided into a chamber glimpsing at reality as reality winks back at us. Eyes dilated, a halo survives above your head, shimmering, static, crawling over the fading screen of your irises. Is this wakefulness the truth or is it removing the filter of our eyes? Nostrils flared, the deep beat ribbons its way into the veins behind the retinas and bursts open the valves of my heart. My heart throbs like a stack of pills falling by the tremble of a cat’s tail. Another line to cross and we are consumed into another chamber. The monster is right behind us swallowing smoky waves and frothy air. In the distance, amidst the gigantic tree-like trunks of our past, present and future, small mouths mutter and mumble wordless thoughts gnawing at my brain like insects over a fresh crust of old skin. My old journals fly around flapping their pages, regurgitating jealousy, anger, shame, regret, love, love, lovelessness, the ultimate solitude, following other pages towards a gaping hole, like the dark tunnel of a rabid dog’s mouth while we point and watch in awe. Let’s start barking at the outcomes and lick ourselves with self-praise. But where did you go? I have been right here. I never budged. The monster inside me made sure of that, resting assured, remaining inside you and I, to bang and bump and split our heads open, the one that rushes and drags and forgets to slow down or to wipe the spit sliding by the side of my mouth, to quell the thirst before choking on the omega of my soul, hunting thoughts that need to be caught like butterflies in a net. Questions race before the answers and questions always end up winning, losing to no answer whatsoever. There is a monster inside. This monster is weaning you slowly towards a colorful mad ugliness. We have never seemed so close yet so certain at how distant we actually are. The isolation is all encompassing, clear and desolate like the pink blue grey rocks of a sacred land. You cannot devour me whole but I could just be a slice of time in your cake of life when you resurrect me over and over again from my little deaths. We keep saying we will cross the bridge when we get there. What if we have already been on it this whole time; pause for effect; inhale, one foot in front of the other, stumbling, swaying drunk, sprinting to shake off the edge, strolling, seemingly unaware that the bridge does end and its beginning ended long ago when we dangled our feet at the rotting plank, wondering about the crisscrossing of what-ifs, dragging me down to the masks on the floor, making love to the undertones of a menacing bassy industrial sound. Don’t feed me your pretentiously poetic lines, she said. “My mouth talked to you like a tired machine. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”; those words are not mine. They surely are not yours. Those words you hide so well, protected behind that untouchable veil. It is all one big mesh sewed tightly by the mighty threads of damage. Time is wasted and lapsed to carve out honey-dripping words from the Jesus-look-alike that stick to my eyelashes. Do you recognize now the monster you had over for breakfast, lunch and dinner? It was you. I am you; it is good to finally meet you. Where have you been? You may come in but you cannot stay too long.”

want

Not too many years ago, some eyes rolled one day because I had an opinion about relationships.

My opinion was that we all want something from each other.

I never quite understood why I got heat back then and for the longest time I felt shaken over such an obvious concept we perform consciously and subconsciously. I began to scrutinize matters of the innately selfish human condition, how I dealt with people and how others dealt with each other. I surprised and contradicted myself many times, got confused, lost face but hell, I came out knowing I was right.

Not too many years later, and after a cascade of heavy experiences, I still believe in that opinion, and if anything I reaffirm it more now since ultimately we do want something from each other whether anyone cares to admit it or not. I am not afraid to declare that, yes, I want something from you. For example, I want you to read this post, provide an opinion, a critique, think, hate it, like it, ignore it, whatever. You will still provide a reaction that I may want and may not, that you may share or may not share depending on what you want. But I want something useful still. Something that can inspire me, amend me, help me grow, shake and stir my emotions for a moment to reassemble me, or you.

Just because I “want” something doesn’t mean that I want it because I am a an emotional hoarder who is keeping track of everything that everyone has given to me so I could feel special for a while until I want more. No. I could want the good company of a good friend. I could want you to pass the salt. I could want to share something meaningful and beautiful in any given occasion over any random reason for no particular intention. I could want to be alone. I could want to make a move. I could want you to make a move instead. I could want to be evil, do something bad and hurtful. I could want to be understood or appear enigmatic. I could want want itself.

What are relationships loosely based on if not on a certain specific and non-specific set of exchangeable actions and reactions? Who, out there, who, can really not expect something in return? Or at least half-expect something they want returned in some form or another? We attempt to be humble and say we will not expect anything, a brave and noble attitude, but some time during the day and night we expect and want, if not need, secretly; attention, appreciation, money, gratitude, sex, praise, love, ass-licking, a smile, forgiveness, a kiss, a slap on the face, a ding on the phone; because ultimately we want to be acknowledged, we want to stand out, we want to have an opinion. We want to exist in someone else’s world. We want our wants to be addressed and what better way but the wonderful world of social media; the glossy happy helper that asks me every day “what’s on my mind”? Then we end up writing a status, because guess what, we want it to be out there. We make a post knowingly and willfully. It’s a choice we all make. And we make a choice when we want it and when we know it is going to benefit us somehow like a comment, a like or even silence.

No one is completely selfless. No one is completely all-giving. No one expects nothing. No one.

 

she

7:39am: She hits the snooze button for the second time.

7:45am: She shuts off the alarm on her cell phone with a weak finger. A moment later her heavy eye lids surrender to wakefulness. She moans at the dampness felt by her cheek on her pillow from last night’s drool. “31 & still drooling”, she teases herself.

10:20am: She crawls out of the company’s shuttle bus & sighs at the menacing towers of her corporate dungeon jutting out into a smoggy sky. A female colleague carrying a pretty expensive designer bag greets her with an irritating chipper leading her to roll her eyes in dismay & fake a smile in response. Her morning drive to the office through chaotic traffic, overflowing garbage, beggars, zombified pedestrians, commercial songs from the radio add nothing to building enthusiasm for the day. She dumps her laptop & her cheap hand-made Bedouin purse through the security machine & she wonders, for the umpteenth time today what this all means.

4:15pm: After a yawn-filled meeting, she returns to her desk to prepare an “all important” report. She suddenly falls deep into a single distraction & her lips glisten from being freshly licked by her tongue. She hears the voice of a man who makes her thighs tighten. She turns her head for some eye-candy which sours as she sights, yet again, the engagement ring on his beautiful finger. She bites her lower lips, cranes her neck & squeezes.

11:30pm: He shuts the door slowly after leaving her flat. She’s over at the sink drinking a glass of water & her cat sits nobly beside her, staring blankly. Her mind swims & her legs tremble in spite of the weak orgasm he gave her. She is brought into attention when she realizes she’s squeezing her sore breast & asks as her heart aches “ why can’t I get it right?”.

two thousand and fourteen

I can say a lot about that year and maybe I won’t.

I felt. I thought. I saw.

I hated. I screamed. I broke.

I laughed. I cried. How cliché. How unoriginal.

I dabbled here and there with secret friends. I deflated and I existed. I exist still. Why? Why exist at all? Why am I in a loophole? Over and over again?

At times, life just felt like a reel of film spinning, playing on empty, and making that repetitive clapping sound. Clap. Clap. Clap. Plastic on metal. Or something like that.

That year was a noisy one. It was eventful. It was great. It was horrible. It was everything I did not want it to be, and it was something that I wished it to be. And remain so. Somehow.

It is just a year like any other. It never is.

The pain just drags on. The failures. The disappointments. The experiences praised over inflated egos and white lines.

Music in speakers. Masks on the floor.

Time-lapsed. I see.

It was a year that exhausted me. Brought fears into my eyes, suffocated, emancipated and enslaved me.

I wrote.

Nobody really reads anymore. Nobody really cares. And it is ok. Caring is not an obligation. It is a choice, it seems.

We read/listen/hear/do/say/touch/manipulate/consume/love all that it is we want, that is not ours, or at least we think we do, for ourselves. Most of of all. That is just the way it is.

Crooked promises.

Feet cemented in viral mediums that take me nowhere. Stuck. Looking over an unreachable horizon. Through hollowed buildings. Piles and piles of garbage on the road. As if there was a destination. No wonder my eyes sting. No wonder I cannot breathe.

Translucent. I can see right through you and I am choked by the silence and distortion of it all.

Where have you been? Are you listening? Straighten your neck and look at me. I am not a ding on your phone. I am not an eager cursor.

I am not for granted. I am not for sale either.

I am getting old.

undoing being

I unscreamed my wails of life with an abrupt deafening silence as my mother unbirthed me. My unwelcomed body slid from her opening of life & retracted me into her tunnel of damp darkness that unejected me after months of unprepared readiness. Her walls unclenched me as she pushed me further down into her womanly abyss, back onto a watery bed. Her surrounding contractions receded in dull rhythms as she quietly unmoaned in pleasure or ungroaned in delight but instead huffed & puffed so miserably & with a bloated nose. My mother’s face glows unbrightly & no longer is her chest flushed when her drying breasts are cupped & squeezed or when her unerect nipples are pinched.

Our thin vessel of life ungrew longer while my body, my heart, my bones, my hair, my skin continues to untake their complete forms, shaping in reverse. God retreats his grace & unsouls me as I am severed from divinity & become a substance of organic abstract. My humanity cannot be distinguished any more. I remain unnamed. Unmultiplied molecules subside into the corners of my mother’s warm chamber. Untissued organs fade into the liquid unknown. Membranes are swept from existence with unstreamed blood. I am unembroyed as my entire being is split into an unyolked egg & an untamed, unlimbed animal. One part of me swims idly, unknowing of any proper fate, vulnerable within the edges of her secret place, while my other part, perpetually unquiet, uninvited, unprepared, unprotected. I am a mere orgasm.

guilt: my friend & foe

This post is a sort of confession, I suppose; a stream of consciousness, a purge of reflections gathered on the age-old feeling of guilt; this guilt plea, a self-confessed verdict I probably have been carrying for as long as my identity crisis but with a little more drama. Instead of harboring my self-criticism to remain confined in the esoteric corners of my mind, especially that I have been scratching this itch to write about it for weeks now, I am sharing it with the universe in hopes that liberation, enlightenment & guidance can meet me halfway and revert me to that age of innocence I yearn for. Or maybe not.

Guilt, according to the online Merriam Webster dictionary, means:

• responsibility for a crime or for doing something bad or wrong
• a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong

and my favorite:

• feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : self-reproach

Having lived in a predominantly patriarchal Muslim Arab society for three decades, guilt is planted and harvested carefully into every little action we make or intend to make whether we are male or female. We are supposed to embrace it to allegedly elevate us and makes us pious. I beg to differ on that one but I am not going to focus on the religious adaptions of guilt especially that I am not very religious at the moment. Rather I will subtly highlight how guilt, and its close companion, anger, have sown and reaped its growth in me, controlled, weakened and ultimately guided me for too long.

I read in an article somewhere that anger, shame and guilt are consequences of each other yet not in any particular order. This led me to realize that indeed one can feel guilty and then angry or angry then guilty and in the end nearly always ashamed. I experience that often, but not in any particular order either but once guilt follows, after having been angry frequently, immediately after I would question why I constantly felt guilty about the things I say or do, Recently I came to the conclusion that anger is deeply rooted in my character so much so that I allowed it to control many facets of my social behavior and obviously left some bad lasting impressions on myself and others.

In sleep paralysis it is claimed that a mythical creature of harm sits on the sleeper’s chest while the sleeper, who is normally sleeping on the back when this happens, is stuck between deep sleep and the return to wakefulness as this creature suffocates and gives nightmares to the sleeper with the body completely paralyzed and the mind conscious. Guilt, to me, resembles that, since it does squat and stretch on my chest, day in, day out, plunging me into a state of wakeful paralysis instead and imbedding all sorts of nightmarish ideas, glaring at me, feeding my inner furnace to bellow out flames of anger and impulse annihilating chances for redemption and well, just embarrassing the shit out of myself.

In retrospect, I have been observing, and continue to observe. people and their momentary lapses of guilt and how they display it and handle it. Some people will ignore it un-apologetically and dismiss it, or they would pin the blame on something or someone else to avoid being labeled guilty or bear the responsibility of being ashamed. There are professional guilt trippers who relish in making others feel guilty whenever they can impose it on them. There are others who weasel their way out of it save any morale. There are those who just do the right thing, apologize, feel a little blue and move on. But some people, like myself a professional guilt tripee, dwells on it. But mind you, I too, am guilty of everything I just mentioned above. And because of that I dwell even more. Sometimes I would entertain the thought that I am just another masochist who is self-loathing and enjoys the occasional self-victimized suffering, or maybe I do not, but I still care to admit that possibly because of my personality or the many disappointments in life or where I was raised and taught guilt manifested some sort of complexity within me. I have experienced many types of guilt that developed from my teen years to my current prime that still leave me confused and even close to retarded on how I should deal with my anger and ensuing guilt. It’s like I am asking for it when I hate it the most and when I do apologize to the world it is not enough neither to the world or to myself because I am gladly, directly or not, reminded to reprimand myself, feed and fester this guilt into proportions so deformed that defeat my initial attempt towards a solution.

In further retrospect, my anger has taken me to the places I am not proud of, such as failure to say the right things at the wrong times, being too impulsive and infamous with mood swings, too impatient, too out of a particular tone, too something or the other, not good enough, carrying questionable vibes, being hurtful and damaging figuratively and literally, not taking care of my health, procrastinating, judging, not staying in touch with certain friends and families and a whole bucket of other stuff that is just..shit.

How has guilt become a positive enabler? I am still in the process of filtering my anger out and this guilt that are sewn into my daily existence hanging loud and clear on my sleeve and paying my dues all at the same time. But namely it has kept me grounded and cautious with a guard now higher than I ever hoped it to be in spite of my earlier hopes to just be who I am; a free-spirited, liberated, outspoken, self-loving, loved, appreciated sort of human being; but not now, not for a while. My mistakes and failures remind me of the hard work I need to do if I am yet to partially succeed into becoming the better version of who I wish to be, whether on my own or with the help of those who really care. Being the skeptic that I am towards myself and others, it has taken me tremendous effort to not doubt my own intentions when I mean to be good. And it will take me even more effort to refrain from feeling pereptually guilty or even saying that I am sorry when I actually should not be.

One day.