A quick chat with a King

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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

 

Will you call it ……. ? I won’t !!

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And now I wonder

How could I make it 

All those years without you

Will you call it a triumph

I won’t !!

Wasn’t it witless to waive a reality

To a  mirage

To forgo a villa to a gunyah

Will you call it a smart deal

I won’t !!

She said ………….

Why do we have to be

Knee-deep, Chest-deep then neck-deep in mud

To sink, to drown, to die reaching the shore

Will you call it a choice 

I won’t !!

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. 

The lethal seatbelt !!!! A short story

She was driving back home after a long day at work when a dog crossed the street:

– ” Go on it’s just a dog” a voice in her head.

– ” Avoid it… Pull to the left ….. To the right !” a second voice (louder).

– ” Stop !! Pull up !! ” Another ( a yell of fear).

-” Hello !! Are you okay ?? ” An old man shouting.

– ” You miraculously survived it thanks to God and to the seatbelt you wore”. Someone dressed in a blue uniform.

Thankful, both her and the dog made it, unmindful of the curse under that band-aid. A five centimeter scar left on her cheek that ruined her life:

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Taking a photo became a “don’t even think about it”, she misses parties like hell but that’s where she is likely to be mortified rather than having fun, she used to work hard to get promoted now she’s working harder not to be made redundant. Frequently groped in buses howbeit, she’d never bat an eyelid. She’d go back to her flat as soon as she can – just to get stoned, curse that bloody seatbelt that “saved her life” and sometimes to reminisce about the days she was a vivacious pretty girl – instead of wasting time fighting over a dead body.

Mariem: The girl in the backseat

imageNineteen autumns ago, in a warm classroom, sitting in the first row next to my first love. I was lucky enough to be the son of a father with a fine job because back where I did my primary school, the “better” your dad’s position is, the closer to the teacher’s desk is your seat.

This wasn’t the case of Mariem whose dad was a plumber -a 7 years old girl, not as pretty as the one on my left but still likeable – who occupied one of the backseats of the classroom amid a bunch of unfortunate little scandalmongers who couldn’t accept someone decent, peaceful, shy, quiet and hard-working among them. Though that was too much on a sweet rug rat, she never complained. Between the classes and at lunchtime she would come to us to talk about what happened in the last episode of the cartoons we watched, swap cards and snacks, gossip about teachers and to crack jokes. She was very content with the swift breaks that were seen as a refuge from a less innocent world, moments of recreation and refreshment that never ceased to supply her with a strength and an endurance she was crying out for to finish the day with a hope that in the next morning, she will enjoy gawking through the door at the gardener ankle-deep in mud planting what it may be a “palmier” these days. Whenever Ms. Qasi looked at her and that was unusual, Mariem raised her eager hand to answer a question or nodded to show that she did understand but none of those tricks managed to attract the “teacher’s” attention nor to lift her from the bottom of the class.

Until one day, a woman from the ministry of education visited our school to take the list of the students whose parents work abroad. As she knocked the door, interrupting Ms. Crap’s nap we all stood up not willing to greet her on her entrance as much as afraid of being sent to the last row and this is why those who sit in the front are mostly the ones who “erect” first.

– ” DEAR” students ! Would you please raise your hands if you have a father/ mother or both working abroad. Ms. sweet-toned Crap, goggling at the pupils in the dark part of the class.

– What’s your name ? The beautiful lady in the blue suit.

– Mariem… and she added her surname.

– Thank you sweetie, your teacher will tell you what to do. Looking back at Ms. Qasi she whispered: I have to move to the next class, would you please give her this form that has to be filled out by her mom before Friday….Have a good day !

– With pleasure ! Bye

A moment later, the bell rang and we all went out except Mariem as “Teacher” Qasi had to show her how to fill in the form. Something that didn’t last more than a minute.

With other students from different classes we followed Ms. Qasi as she headed for the headmaster’s office pulling up Mariem’s wrist too hard and mumbling along the courtyard. We saw the fear in her eyes and even those who gave her a hard time pitied her. The throng faded as soon as he opened the door, with dozens of questions in our minds.

For the rest of the year Mariem’s place remained empty as she moved to another class. I remember her hiding behind the school’s main gate eating her sandwich avoiding some bully fifth graders who called her “liar”.

Though,we had been warned not to talk or play with her, we knew later that she lied about her dad’s job just to get closer to the blackboard and that she complained about Ms. Qasi’s discrimination.

P.S: I’ve recently heard that an old guy divorced her after being caught red-handed with a paramour in the backseat of his car.