A quick chat with a King

street-vendor-young-child

We all have that little ” Hasan, Luigi, Tom, Julien, Miguel, Hongqi …..etc” in our neighborhoods. I’m talking about that kid who occupies the corner you may stop by for a couple of seconds to tie your shoelaces during your daily outing. He would sit for hours trying all the marketing tips he’s learned over the time at ” the University of Seasons and Seasons on the ground ”  to sell you  chewing gums,a nail clipper, a keychain or just a pack of tissues that could give the vividest denotation of heat, cold, loneliness, war, peace and fear, that was and still the most willing accomplice when sinning and the most placating solace when bewailing. A pack of tissues that comprehends that none of the mentioned tips could make this long-awaited detachment from his “Roi ” as soon as begging would.

The king supplicated !!!!!

In a planet where a porn star has millions of fans on social media and tons of food are wasted rather than donated ……. A real king is likely to beg. Actually he’s good at it, he even considers it a life-skill which endures just like riding a bicycle or pitching a tent appropriately and as there was a need for a first time to gain this skill, I was wondering when was the King’s premiere and here was the answer.

I begged him once to have a bite

Of his sandwich

 I begged her mom so we hang out 

She was a bitch

I begged their sister for love the sacred 

I was mortified…. I developed hatred

He knew I was amazed by the way he speaks.

He knew I underestimated him.

He knew I thought he’s unlettered.. so he added.

I am the King and I’m lucky

The best poet is a friend

And he enlightened me

The victims of genius are clients

And they taught me

It’s by the painter and his beloved

I was worshiped 

And by the monk and his God 

I was venerated

It was a struggle, a hardship I should admit

A fight to which I was challenged

But with Neptune and Uranus 

I was blessed

As when a cop scolded

There was a hippie to cheer up

And when an ugly disgusted

There was a cute to joy me up

I didn’t say Adios as I went. The king is easy to find

I just winked, smiled, hand-slauted him and wished I could be a king for a while

 

— I once have wished —

I once have wished 

There was a planet 

where I plus you equals you

 

I once have wished 

That at night as in the morning 

the sun shone

So I can surf those wrinkles 

Slide along your lips 

Drift, bounce, fall and shift 

And proudly announce

I located beauty 

I once have wished 

I could chaperone you

So I voetsak

Out of the land of Right

And shoo the guilt away

 

I once have wished 

Death was a party 

And Azrael was a welcomed advena

So I recommend his comradeship 

So I smile as we parted

The lil girl with million wonders

Once again, I had to take this cursed train, that I’ve been told was sold to an African company but as they couldn’t come and take it due to an unrest in their jungles. This monster is likely to fade away in our land. It’s been almost half a century of endless hiking across all those terrains that nature variously shaped leaving a masterpiece here and a failure a dozen of miles further…… The train doesn’t care, it keeps trudging along his never-satisfied masochist rails.

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For a decade I’d sit between wagons, on the ground among less fortunate people so I can smoke and chat; crack jokes and enjoy the company of the best storytellers ever the vagrants. This time I unoccasionally decided to have a seat in the so-called first class cabin where I thought I could take a nap midst boring “suits and ties”.

“Bushra !!!!!!!!! her mom shouting her name so she stops bothering this old man and goes back to her seat which, resulted in a crowd staying up late unable to rest.

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A five-year-old kiddie dressed in a fancy lace-back pink onesie that tells how lovely is her room and how successful are her parents. A girl that a man sitting next to me called ” a good example for early childhood bitching”. He was so pissed, he  couldn’t sleep because of her ceaseless tough questions that her mother couldn’t answer most of the time but what I really found interesting is the way she asked her mom and how she looked at the her while she wrestles with this merger of both these uneasy combinations of simple letters and the soliciting intonation of an old knowledge seeker. Here are some of her queries, just what I could hear and jot down:                                                                                                                                 “B”: Bushra/ “M”: her mom

“B”: Mother, last week the sun was on the right side and now even we changed the direction and the seat it remains motionless. Why is that ?                                      “M”: The sun loves you sweetie it is watching over you.                                                  “B”: That’s good

“B”: Mom, is this sugar or salt ?                                                                                           “M”: Sugar hun.                                                                                                                       “B”: Can I eat some ??                                                                                                           “M”: Sure if you want                                                                                                             “B”: Not now.

“B”: How’s daddy?                                                                                                                 “M”: He’s fine                                                                                                                        “B”: How did you know that ? Is he right here with us now ?                                      “M”: No, but he called me an hour ago.                                                                               “B”: I don’t know

“B”: Dear mom, ( It seems like she noticed her mom is getting mad) is the train moving?                                                                                                                              “M”: Not yet sweetie.

“B”: Mom, do you love me ? (( this is the question I was waiting for ))                           “M”: Of course I do darling                                                                                                   “B”: More even than you love dad ??                                                                            “M”: Shhhhhhht ( + a bashful smile)

“B”: Who’s this guy?                                                                                                             “M”: The ticket controller                                                                                                   “B”: Is he rich or poor ?                                                                                                    “M”: I don’t know baby.                                                                                                 “B”: You are older than me but you know nothing mom. 

“B”: Which is better: to be a girl or a boy?                                                                         “M”: To be a girl sweetheart                                                                                                 “B”: Is that because you’re a woman ?                                                                               “M”: Maybe ( hehehehe)                                                                                                         “B”: Can’t we be both at the same time ?                                                                           “G” ( The guy sitting next to me aloud): It’s possible these days !!!!!

Everyone laughed at the answer, the girl didn’t understand anything, her mom kissed her and I went out for a cigarette thinking about the boy/girl thing. 

I’m coming

sufi

Because I saw you

In my dreams smiling

At the end of the road 

With the trees at the shoulders 

I’m coming

Because I know you

Know we will both

Be old and ugly

Those who loved who we were 

Yesterday will

Scarcely sympathize with

The poor creatures we 

Are tomorrow 

Thus I’m coming 

I hated my tent and I’m

Too weak

To build on my own

The shanty 

Being a lonely wolf used to give

Delight and cruising

Solely is no longer engaging

So I’m coming

Be there be you

the Valkyrie

Who loved my stories

And the Sufi me  

As I’m coming

 

Serbs can’t help being friendly

Last Wednesday 20:45 Belgrade time, the plane landed. I was so excited about this ” one week journey” , got out dressed in my hippy outfit with a big smile that faded as soon as the police officer checking my passport said (wait here please!!). I stood like a rock nearby and a Mega-size lady, she stared at me for a while then started interrogating me about the purpose of being in Belgrade. I was far from being comfortable as the rest of the passengers got their passports stamped and went on but I’ve been taught and told not to react and to keep calm and patient. It took me only 15 to know that I’m not welcome to Serbia and that I’ll be sent back to Istanbul the day after as there was a flight at 9:00 in the morning. I got outraged and unconsciously I started shouting and cursing at everyone around me, an otimageher cop approached me, he didn’t say anything but the way he was looking at me was enough to calm me down. He handed me a bottle of water and asked one of his colleagues to tell me that I’ll be taken to a holding cell that’s not a jail where I will spend the night. This was the last thing I’d like to know and As I got a way to hold a conversation I explained that I came down there to visit a friend, to enjoy the city and I’m not the one to consider as a threat nor a disturb. Moreover, I told them that this case will be widespread, famous and they will get nothing but drama out of this behavior. Everyone seemed to be listening to what I’m saying but none made a reaction. Briefly, they believed that my passport was fake because of the first page that was partly torn and due to the many Libyan stamps in it. Taken downstairs to the jail, given a sandwich and a drink, ordered to sleep and not disturb “my friends” who were in the cell already I was wondering what the hell wrong have I done in my life. I stood by the door, shouting that I’ll hurt one of the guys in the cell or even myself but that was a fruitless attempt so I lit a cigarette and a guy asked for one, I could obviously see that he’s in his late twenties and that he was beaten. We asked each other about the reason we’re brought here and how were we treated. We played cards with the other guys, we cracked jokes. Three hours later, the guard came and called my name, he cheerfully told me that the guys imageupstairs decided that I’m “clean” and free to go. Tired but glad, stressed but excited and mad but thankful I got back my stuff, thanked them for being nice again and for being able to distinguish good from bad. They offered me a coffee, told me which bus to take and where to get off. Now I have a strong belief that this trip is going to be amazing. The very same night in downtown I stopped by a drunk guy asking for direction. He took my hand and said I’ll show you. That was too good to be true, walking along the dark narrow “avenija” of Belgrade, I reached the hostel, shook hands with the old man, asking if I can help with something. A cigarette was enough and he appreciated it loads. The hostel was on the third floor, cosy, spacious, clean and the guys workingimage there were super helpful.the days went fast and the nights were crazy. For me who went there to study the psychology of people who have recently been out of a war, these things were so crucial, promising but also beyond and over my expectations. For someone living in Serbia, life is not a happy ending bedtime story nor a piece of cake. What is cheap for a tourist is really unaffordable for them but this doesn’t keep them from enjoying every single moment of their lives. One incident that I shouldn’t forget as it literally marked my journey is when I stumbled on a lady at night as I was focusing on my map, she dropped her purse and I didn’t even notice how mean I was not handing a help or at least apologizing, though she was pissed off, when I asked her about a place where I can gamble nearby that I’ve pinned in my map, she put on her glasses, scrutinized the map and explained the safest and fastest way to get there. Now I’m miles away from Serbia and those people who were so gentle with no exceptions as if kindness was something they studied back when they were at school to be forever tested on – but I believe I will be back soon.