Sunday, December 31, 2006

What Makes a Great Man?

When i was in my late teens i kept stumbling across the same remark from all the mothers of my friends, they were all variation of: "that girl will end up with a great man".
They were of course oblivious to my disastrous love life as i would've been banned from all of my friend's houses had they not been, however i assure you i have always had everything else in my life in order, they loved me and often looked at me with much emotion and that certainty that i would meet a great man.
Considering my dating record, even back then, i found these remarks comforting and accepted them as almost a given. If all these people say i will meet a great man then surely i must, my faith was near ridiculous, i didn't doubt them once.

When i hit 19, stuff happened, and out of nowhere i turned into this wild creature of curiosity.
I was going through my dating history with someone recently and he actually asked me: "what happened to Tom, Dick and Harry?" My answer was quite simple, never came across any of those, my answer should have been, i never chose any of those.
Now the clinch here is that as i was so sure i would meet a great man, i hardly ever doubted my choices, you see i was meant to meet a great man! And off i went choosing social misfits and retards, sailors and spoilt brats, and seeing only the things that made them great.

There were phases of course, the first was great because he dreamed, and he loved me utterly, many years later i understood he was full of shit and obsessive. The second was great because we were a team, we did everything as one person, many years later i understood that he was a parasite, and i was doing everything really, he just made it more fun by hanging around and being charming. So he was actually a great man for being charming? Yes yes, for a while at least.
Then came the Independence era, where the men who didn't give a damn were great. The man who could do without me yet chooses not to, i was fascinated by my new discovery of choice and Independence and severely rebelling against the dependant team era. Hence almost every choice of the past three years. These men were great because they were independent, today i understand that they are selfish and emotionally crippled, and are the most likely to end up alone. Now i understand that Independence and giving have nothing to do with each other.

Today i was on the train for more than 8 hours going to Venice and back, and trains make me ponder and wonder as i rest my head on the window and let my thoughts unroll. I was receiving text messages that made me smile all day, and my thoughts lead me to this question:
What makes a man, a great man?
Is it honesty? Is it straight forwardness? Is it intelligence? Is it integrity? Is it confidence? Is it the fun they have with you? Is it the respect they pay you? Is it the way they spoil you? Is it how they take care of their friends? Is it how they take care of you? Is it how much they want you to be happy? Is it how happy they show you they are just by being with you?

My mother always tell me that a great man will always make you feel good about yourself, and will always push you forwards.. But what does she know? She met a great man at 18!

I'd like to hear the people that come here tell me what they think.... through what you've seen and who you've been with, what makes a great man?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sibling Issues

Today i watched my sister cry from boredom. We are in Italy, in a village named Dicomano 20 Km south of Florence. We drove here from France to spend Christmas with her best friend, her best friend's husband and their two girls. We have so far been to Florence twice for walk a around and coffee and very light site seeing, done the Christmas things as in gone to husbands parents house and sang, ate, slept by the fireplace and unwrapped presents. As everything is shut, mainly shops which are my sisters temple, today we decided to stay in. I was tired from all the driving and running around as this is my first trip since i was idle for three months and as i know the next few days will be insane i opted for staying in where it is warm and full of infants.
I have been living alone for two years. Every time i went home my sister would talk to me with the perception that Europe is one big party, you step off the plane and you suddenly don't know what to do with yourself, in her comprehension of my life she as well thinks that as i live in France i know everything there is to know about every European country. How to get everywhere, where to go everywhere, who to hang out with everywhere... etc etc... When i tried to to explain to her before she came she went to my mother crying telling her that i don't want her to come.
So back to today, my sister has had her foul mood face on all day, i on the other hand, have adapted quite well to the infant life style, i am watching cartoons and making puzzles and playing with the girls' helium balloons that i bought yesterday. When they eat i eat, when they nap i nap, and at night i park myself cosily on the couch next to the best friends husband and we talk movies, or geography, or life, as i sip my wine and he thanks the heavens for his two hours off from the girls. Meanwhile, my sister has burst into tears, she is bored and feels like she is wasting a day in Italy in the house, i watched her best friend explain to her what there is to do if she is that bored, The avalanche came after i stated that i will be taking the train to Venice for a day at some point. My sister doesn't want to go to Venice, and she can't drive my car as the roads scare her here (rightfully so). So basically she wants me to not go to Venice so she wont be alone, i watched my sister's best friend draw a map for my sister to the train station into Florence and all around Florence and i watched my sister lose interest as soon as the pen hit the paper. I watched her thinking that there is no way she can do that alone, i watched her dwell in her self pity that she is going to roam the streets of Florence alone unaccompanied for a day. And then she started crying. Did i mention that my sister is eight years older than me?

Surprisingly, i did not get annoyed with her today. I have a very short fuse with my sister, all the time, i cut her no slack ever, and i have been passive aggressive towards her for 14 years straight. I will spare you the details, but at some point we managed to not have a conversation for four years while living in the same house with rooms directly facing each other. We have a character conflict, lets leave it there.
Today however, my blood did not boil at her self pity, i did not clench my teeth at her non existent faith in herself, and i did not just get up and exit before i said something harsh. Today i got very concerned about this girl, how is she ever supposed to be happy?
I contemplated for a minute, do i change my plans for her? Do i take her by the hand through every situation during this trip and every personal dilemma to come? This is so against what i believe in. I am so anti-dependency, from the bottom of my heart i believe i would be doing her much more harm than good, i will be contributing to her lack of self esteem. I can't do it.
My other option is to wait till she learns, till she gets the guts to leave the house and find the train and pick where she wants to go. Till she gets the courage to apply for a job and understand that not getting the job doesn't render her worthless. To stop asking questions she already knows the answers to just to portray need. My other option is to wait for her to get there herself. My sister is eight years older than me, can i really watch her waste more years being unhappy till she gets there? It's taking her too long, and my inability to help her breaks my heart.


It seems, that maybe, everything i have been looking for is actually out there.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I spend most of my time in my head trying to define what is real and what is not. It has become second nature to me, after being a dramatic over-emotional person, i consciously started shaping my reality, and now it has become how i am.
I often waste many many hours asking myself questions, do i really want to do this? Do i really mean that? Do i really feel like this about that? It is exhausting, but i have spent years in a state of semi delusion, where my gut knows i am not where i belong yet the mind justifies, and justifies and the heart takes over the steering wheel and throws the attempts of any other elements to gain control, to the winds.
You may argue that such over analysis is not needed, that i should let go a bit, you should not be arguing that, you are not me. I tell you and i am certain of what i say, i need to always be alert as my desires always always lead me astray. So now i weigh things, the heart gets a say, the mind gets a say, and somehow i have learnt to be emotional and spontaneous and follow my instincts whilst retaining the part of me that is soft, to me.
Don't get me wrong, i am giving, a plenty, i am consistent and loving, i am truly lovely to my partner. However i don't give of myself, i have learnt not to, and hence have lately been choosing the men who do not ask for that part of me. They are of course the same men that i know will never last, you see that is comforting as i know very early on that whatever i invest is up to me, and anything they receive is unexpected undemanded surprise.

Reality is a dangerous thing. Every single one of us has a different perception of every different thing in life. It is extraordinary how two people in the same room can perceive an experience in completely different ways and learn absolutely different things.
As if that isn't enough, i go about shaping and forming and reforming my own reality in my head, i think i over do it, i think i have many realities, i think i have found many truths but not my one truth. Maybe such is life, a constantly reshaped reality and search for truth.
Every once in a while we meet people who make us pause. People we relate to, people who personify our aspirations, people we click with and see ourselves in, or with...
In the complex mess that is the human being, how much clicking is actual building? How much of people's realities intersect? Which of my perceptions are real? What about my other realities? Will they all cohere peacefully?
When do i know that it is safe to invest all I've got? To let go of the endless scenarios in my head? To choose to let go?
I let go so very well superficially, i am easy going, calm, breezy and fun, but really i am not at all when it comes to someone trying to reach my core, someone who wants all of me.
Maybe this is what you get for giving all of you away for too long, to someone unworthy.

Random thoughts, nothing in my head makes sense today, i pray for the man that genuinely wants to be with me. I pray that he has patience, i pray that he outsmarts me, i pray that he manages this handful of contradictions and irrationalities. I pray that he be alot more mature than i am. That's a lot to ask from any man, and don't you think i don't know it, that's why I've stopped asking.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Town

I saw this exact painting at my doc's clinic, thought i'd share the real thing...

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Gemini Man

This is not the beginning of a series, i am not about to start posting about the female and male version of each sun sign, relax, and if you don't believe in horoscopes just skip the post altogether. This is just me highlighting my amusement, there is nothing to learn here, unless of course you have a Gemini male figure in your life. He needn't be your boyfriend, hardly, it is very unlikely he will be your boyfriend and if he is may the heavens be with you.

I am a Gemini man magnet, i do not choose them, i promise you i don't, they somehow show up. And in fear of being the person whose first question is always "what's your sun sign?", i tend to only get to ask that question after it is too late, way too late.
Having said that, i am of course taking the piss, because the Gemini man is obvious, does not need to introduce himself, so easy to spot, he might as well have it written on his forehead: make way, i am Gemini man.
In case you are not trained, he will be that guy sitting alone at the bar and making friends with the whole bar in half an hour. He will be the guy with a smile for everyone, and a special bond with every friend. He will be the flirt, yet he will also be the man who cannot plan beyond this beer, and will most probably not call back. He's that guy on the go looking so very busy and important because he has over booked himself in his enthusiasm. He looks like he's fun, if he stays long enough for you to take notice.
For the past two years of my life at any point in time i have had at least one Gemini man in my life, sometimes two, lately we are up to three and four. Sometimes one is a boyfriend the other is a friend, sometimes they are all friends, one time two were being dated at the same time (they both knew OK?), and other times, most times, i didn't know what the hell was going on myself.
So obviously i am used to Gemini's, so whats new today? what is knew today is that this past week i have had four incident with 4 different Gemini men. Four!

A Gemini ex, a Spanish Gemini ex, passed through my town, naturally asked to meet up for dinner, as expected by the end of dinner i was getting the ever so Geminian intense looks of "are you feeling what I'm feeling?" The trained Leo that i am, i looked him straight back in the eye long enough to make a point, then looked away gracefully sipping my wine like nothing was insinuated and nothing was refused. He walked me to my car, sat with me in the car, and as a true Geminian the moment gripped him and he crumbled to his doubts of "why did i let you go?"
Had i not known that he has done this 700 times before to 200 different girls, i might have given in to his apparent torment, had i not known that his girlfriend had just moved in with him, i might have been tempted to give in to his cry for comfort that was absolutely heartfelt. Had i not known he was a Gemini, i would've perceived the situation completely differently and let the tears in his eyes affect my judgment. He went back to his hotel disappointed and confused, and surely enough, next day he called me bubbly and happy to have met an old friend.
End of incident one.

Last week i got a phone call, from a friend of ages ago, a school friend. You know those crushes that go on endlessly? I believe we flirted with no further action from 12 to 17. We of course are great friends, that's the thing with me and Gemini men, we are always great friends.
This guy calls me to reproach me for not calling him back when i said i would, that was a month ago when he had called me for the first time in two years. And for the next 45 mins he went into the million reasons i should move to Dubai where he resides. How he would take care of me, find me a job, how the best thing that could ever happen to him would be my moving to Dubai. Baam, out of nowhere and the first contact in two years.
He was complaining about how futile relationships in Dubai are, so i asked him why do you want to bring me over and doom me then? His reply was "just you come here and don't you worry about that".
He asked me to email him my CV, i said i would, i hung up and realized i didn't have his email, and I'm sure when he didn't get it he figured that out as well. He still hasn't called back, and i know he will not be calling back. For he is of course, a Gemini.
End of incident two.

I have a Gemini guy friend, the most solid Gemini i have ever seen, yes his business may overwhelm him, yes he is witty and flattering by nature, yes he manages to steer all focus away from himself while scrutinizing you as they all do, but truly the most sincere correct Gemini I've come across (mind you i am yet to speak to his girlfriend, so you never know).
We had a bit of an argument the other day, i had my case all prepared and i was going to make my point if it was the last thing i did that day, and surely enough, like the Gemini he is despite himself, with a few sentences of completely out of character straight forward simplicity, i lost all my anger and caved in then and there.
I can never stay mad at a Gemini man. They are too boyishly innocent all of a sudden that you feel you are being unjust to them by rightfully being upset!
End of episode 3.

T, recently renamed Hans, sent me an email two nights ago. T is at the end of a 5 week crossing, and by crossing i mean crossing the Atlantic via sailing boat. The email was the gloomiest thing i had ever read i think. He was miserable; out of cigarettes, breaking up fights on the boat, sun burnt and complaining that he doesn't have the frostbite that makes it feel like Xmas. He somehow managed to whine about being alone in St.Martin for Xmas. If you met T you would know in a second that alone in St.Martin for Xmas is exactly the way he should be, and watch the man end up with a choice between 4 women to take home.
I was a bit, just a bit, concerned (mind you i know he's a Gemini), so as the faithful partner in our non-committed casual dead end relationship that i am, i sent an email back. My email was cheerful and happy, sympathetic and up lifting, i was really rather sweet, which i try to not be too much with Gemini men. I got an email this morning telling me he was island hopping and fishing and not to worry if he sounded a little blue last night, it must have been the heat.
I wont really call this an incident as T usually does this to me several times a day.

Now i know, because i have come to know, that this unfortunate male sign has trouble with consistency, has moods and tantrums, has a strange combination of a pessimistic/cheerful view on life. I know because i have been taught that these men can get away with murder, and the only thing that stops them from even murder, is themselves. You see i know, but you might not know, and even if you don't care to know, this post in not to persuade you to care.
This post is to stop me from writing "if you are a Gemini man please walk south from me" on my forehead.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Parting Wisdom

Anything can happen, any day. Seriously, you can be sitting there and something falls on your head, or someone marches into your life, or you get a phone call with a proposition that could drastically alter your path as you thought you knew it. I think this is why potato couching is never advisable, but anyway...
If you, like me, ever get a phone call suggesting you ditch your life as you know it and move to France (it very well may happen mind you!) then i have some things to say to you. Listen well, you will thank me much in the future.

1. The language: you will not, repeat NOT just pick up French. It is not a pick-up-able language. If you don't already have a base, take lessons, and if you have a base, take a course when you get here. Meanwhile make sure you know how to say "speak slowly please" and more importantly; "can you repeat that please?". If you expect to learn French by Osmosis, then don't expect it to be fast, i know people who have lived here 10 years, and can't put two sentences together.

2. The People: The French have a chip on their shoulder. How big the chip is depends greatly on nothing at all. If you are lucky the odd one will smile at you, or lend a helping hand. More probable is the fact that if you forget the hand breaks of your car down while parked and your car slides to cosily touch bumpers with the car in front of it, you will come back in an hour to find a typed, yes typed! letter of insult telling you that if you do not know how to park to stay the hell away from my car. The French have a chip on their shoulder, and they are waiting for you to take it out on.

3. The People when you know the language: I have one suggestion; ear plugs.
The French talk alot. What you would say in English in one sentence they automatically say in four. Having said that, 40% of their talk is small talk and 50% is whining. Should you be lucky enough to be around for the remaining 10%, let me know, i am yet to find a French person who had anything to add to me in terms of conversation.

4. The system: The word bureaucracy is French, it has not been altered all over the world for a very simple reason; no one can compete. There is a hole in every loop in the french system, and not one from which you can sneak in from, no, it is a hole that makes it near impossible for you to get into the system at all. If you want to rent an apartment, you must have a bank account, if you want to open a bank account, you must have proof that you have an apartment. If you are an Egyptian/British person you are forever condemned to using an international license, because you are a gap in the system. Having said that, once you are in the system, there is no getting you out of it. Ever.

5. Random Tips:
  • If you do not drink, don't start here, you will not stop.
  • Keep a camera with you at all times, there is always something so beautiful that you must take a picture
  • It is difficult to find a restaurant with a completely off menu, the French cuisine is great, and bad French cuisine is still pretty good
  • It is near impossible to get food between 3:00pm and 7:00pm unless you are in Paris, if you are hungry, too bad.
  • If you are here for another World Cup, go somewhere else. They only watch the matches they are playing in, if they win you hardly notice and if they lose they become triple whiney and gloomy. Seriously, go somewhere else.
  • If you are going to get sick, do it here, they are as good as they say they are. You better be insured though!
  • Always, always, keep a single Euro coin with you. This is by far the most precious piece of advice i can give you.
And lastly, prepare yourself to always have a love/hate relationship with France, the most beautiful warm country with the most unsettling and cold underlying effect.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I blame them...

I am who i am because of them.. after years of searching for my identity, and smugly bragging about forming my own person, and shaping my own life, today i find that i am exactly a cross between my mother and father. I am severely mournful of all that time spent in delusion that i had any say in how i turned out at all.
My mother married at 18, she married for love, after she had dated a christian for four years before, and directly after he had converted for her, she met my dad and ditched her much forbidden love, for real love. She was only 18 when she married, imagine if she had a few more years to "date"! Can anyone blame me really for dating sailors and agnostics? Can anyone wonder at my inability to settle for anything but the real thing?
My mother is also a very fixed in her ways woman, she is a bizarre mix between liberal and open minded and change fearing control freak. She has never imposed her authority, she gently instills ethics, and never rules. But you cannot, simply cannot convince her of anything, she bought a CD player 4 years after they hit the market, for four years she claimed to know better, ditto for cell phones, ditto for cable, etc etc.... Is it really so weird that i double check after people's work and am stubborn to the point of being hectic?

My father, now he, i have never really met. He passed away when i was six, but i remember him fairly well. He is the man i never saw frowning, the man who pampered me endlessly, the man i hid the cigars from. It has happened on several occasions that people look at my ID and ask me if i am his daughter, i say yes to the stranger, and i am automatically served better, talked to nicer, smiled at in gratitude. I thought this bizarrely freakish. When i reported this to my mom, she smiled knowingly like it was the most natural thing in the world. Stories of him were scarce till i lost my childhood friend in a car crash at 19, i was having trouble dealing with death so my mother took me away for two weeks and started telling me about my father.
He was a volunteer doctor with the P.L.O at one time, he was offered the position of Minister of Health in Nigeria and turned it down, he was the reason my mother's brother had a roof on his head, everyone adored him, he was a very heavy drinker and smoker (borderline alcoholic), he gambled his inheritance away, he was very possessive of her and he died of his second heart attack at 49. After his first heart attack he was told to stop drinking and smoking, my mother reports him saying "if i can't live the way i enjoy my life then I'm not really living am i?" Meanwhile he never complained about his health. He was a very giving tolerant man.
I rest my case.
Is it any wonder at all that i am an extremist?
Between the two of them, i drink with severe enjoyment but never allow myself to lose control, i quit smoking with difficulty to avoid heart attacks that i am prone to, but i did quit. I am an idealist who believes everyone can make it out there, yet i am incapable of team working.
I could go on and on, but i am simply them split in half and sewed up to make a new human being. They passed on their contradicting strengths and weaknesses, i have his tolerance but not the firmness, i have her neurosis without the skepticism. Basically they gave me the good things without the counter acting strength to save me from abusing myself....
Yikes! Well at least i don't get his addiction to alcohol and gambling, my wilderness takes other directions, the mothers directions..
I don't know why i ever bothered to analyse myself so much or try to change character traits and such, i would've ended up here anyway, it's the way i was made.

I have only one hole in this theory; my sister...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

A thought....

If God wanted everyone to follow one religion, don't you think he would have been able to accomplish that?
Man evolves, not just on his own personal journey called life, man collectively evolves. Over the life time of humanity the human being has evolved, from cave man to hunter to trader to traveler to invader of countries and founder of civilisations. We begin from where the ones before us ended, ok, maybe not exactly where they ended, maybe we like to duplicate some work to make sure they got it right, but no one can argue that man as a being was one thing 3000 years ago, and an absolute different thing now, gradually and surely changing over the years.
Can we assume that this change is to the better? I can safely say i think it is to the more advanced, the more knowledgeable, be that better or not is up to you, but it is definitely to the direction of knowing more and understanding better. It is in the direction of discovering more truth about our world.
One can argue that the world is more fierce now, more violent, more racist, more promiscuous. I beg you to take a look at our history as human being and contemplate. Touch lightly on the roman empire and its use of torture as entertainment to the masses, the Greek's sexual relationships between siblings and parents, the massacres of groups of women guilty of witch craft, the enslavement and exporting of humans to serve the civilized world. Contemplate, is it really getting worse? Or are we just here, now, experiencing this and thinking it is worse?
In my opinion, it isn't getting worse, it is in our horror movie of history, getting better, at least we are all aware of the value of the human life and any of us that are honest with themselves are pained at it's unjust loss.
Now lets take a look at the world today, economically, politically, education wise, lets take a close honest look at continents and countries and standards of living. Can you not see how countries that rigidly rule in alignment with religion are the worst off? Are the least educated? Are the most angry? Are the most violent? Are the poorest and worst off? Are constantly in a state of rage against abuse? And we all know that half the responsibility of being abused lies on the abused, if not more. But then again these countries would not know that, they have not learnt to take responsibility for their status, they have not been taught how to choose.
Whats the point?
The point is, that maybe, just maybe, religion as it was taught all those years ago has served it's purpose and is not meant for today. Maybe at that point in time religion was God's way of instilling a basic sense of right and wrong in the immature human being at that time, like teaching a toddler right from wrong through punishment and reward. Maybe over the time people have learnt how to be like that without being confined by religion, maybe we have reached the point where people can find God on their own.
I mean after all, according to one of these books, the end is near, maybe towards the end people have found freedom and found a way to choose their God, instead of adjusting to Him. Maybe the journey of the human being through time has been a success, would God make it any other way really? would God fail?
Again, if God wanted us all to hymn the same things, do you not think he would be able to? Maybe, just maybe our differences are God's way of challenging us, to see whether we will break free from our arrogance and presumptuousness, our rigidity and judgments, our ignorance and our anger. Maybe it's God's way of trying to tell us that no matter, all his children will go home to him, eventually.
Maybe, it's just a thought.

Note: I never write about religeon and such, but this post by Carmen moved me enough to say something about it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For You

I break in two for you
I do
Not in a bad way
Not at all in a tragic or sad way
But still i split myself in two
A leaf and a rock
to sway with the laughter
and be still with each shock
A touch and a grip
A stroke and a slap
A home and a trip;
an open doored trap
yes, that is what i've learnt to do
I break in two for you

Monday, December 04, 2006

Giving Something Back

I use my blog to dump. As most people would agree, it's always easy to write negative things, we write when we're sad, hurt, worried, bored, disturbed, anxious, etc, etc... My favourite blogs are the ones that remain real and not depressing, i can't claim that i can even aspire to have a not depressing blog because i use my blog to dump. If you met me you'd see i am usually smiling and laughing and getting on with things, i owe much of this to writing, as i detox here and then go meet the outside world with a light heart.
The point is, that today, i want to give something back to the blog sphere (where does that word come from btw? and while we're on it, isn't it weird that blogger dictionary doesn't identify the word blog?) where was i? yes, giving something back to this crazy cyber space....
Two months ago i was in intensive care, doing a job i loathed that offered me absolutely nothing but money, my boyfriend was leaving the country shortly and i had no idea what i wanted to do with my life or where i wanted to do it. I had nothing to look forward to, i remember sitting on my couch searching for something to look forward to, to make me smile, i always do that in moments of despair..... i couldn't think of anything, and that scared me. For months and months all you read here was jumbled up incoherent thoughts of a lost girl in distress.
I resigned today. I had decided to end this era, and i took the first step today, well, actually two weeks ago when i accepted a job offer in Cairo.
I've been smiling since, i quit the horrible job, i have two months off in between jobs where i hope to travel to an exotic place where i will sit in the sun all day and read and play. My recurring crazy heart condition has quieted down and i feel healthy, and after that i am looking forward to going home to friends and family and the first job i have ever been excited about.
This post is to give something positive back to the blogging world, thank you blog.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gibran.... on Being

"Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite.

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows - then let your heart say in silence, "God rests in reason."

And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky, - then let your heart say in awe, "God moves in passion."

And since you are a breath In God's sphere, and a leaf in God's forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion."

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced."

"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen"

"When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."

Kahlil Gibran "The Prophet"

On TV Series Enthralment

Yesterday i stayed up till 3:15 am watching "Six feet under". A friend gave them to me when i was in the hospital 8 weeks ago, he gave me the complete five seasons god bless him! I am currently towards the end of season 5 and i am addicted, i don't know what I'll do when they end... They have seen me through hospital, sick leave and the days after T sailed away. I have a print on my couch from where my body curls up amidst the cushions, pillows, quilt and remotes.
So back to last night (or this morning), if anyone has seen this season, there is a particularly heart wrenching death/funeral mid season, i was so engrossed that i cried more that the whole family of the deceased did combined. Imagine this; me in pajamas, my afore mentioned couch, a box of tissue and the sobbing over a fictional character that i couldn't believe had left us.
TV series are a devious addictive form of entertainment. How smart; i completely escape my own reality, bawl over strangers and get all my negativity off my chest. What a great friend in a time when one needs comforting company.
I can't wait to go back home and finish the series.
Suggestions for the next one? anyone?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

l'oiseau qui chante

I went through my phone today and i found a picture
It was named "guitar man"
And i never name the pictures on my phone
I remembered the man from that restaurant
an Italian man who sang in Spanish, Italian, English and French
in that cosy restaurant down my road with the huge portions
and the lasagna we'd split as an entre
he once sang "stand by me", and we sang too
it's the only song i knew the words to
oh, and "my way", we both sang that as well
it was cheesy, but we were comfortable, it was fun
they fed T grappa, and made me sing in Arabic to random guitar tunes
it was not a fancy restaurant
and the guitar man was always only chairs away
was it T who took that picture?
I miss T..
I miss him a lot.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

On ex's

Ever since me and k broke up, i took a vow to try to not let things get so ugly in relationships that we could not be friends afterwards. When i was with K we made sure that so much damage was done that no possible civil interaction could ever take place, after it was over the loss was really too much for me and i took that vow, and so far i have been able to stick to it.
So yesterday i was talking to G (the spanish episode of last year), and as he told me about his current girl i noticed how since being with me he had repeated the same pattern twice; passion, dreams, indecision, hesitation, fear and exit. Other than realizing that he was immature and absolutely self involved, it made me wonder if some people really cannot settle down. Do some people really need to always be challenged? Always try to get what they can't have? Are some people incapable of falling in love peacefully?
I listened to him and i think some people are like that... unable to follow through, always looking for the greener grass. I feel sorry for these people. I keep running into them, getting attracted to them, ending up with them, and they teach me tons. They teach me emotional independence, they teach me how to value what i have now, they teach me how to live happily alone, but sadly though i touch their lives and stay their friend i have not been able to teach them patience.
I feel sorry that they don't cry over loved ones and don't relive memories while smiling, that they don't miss people painfully and they don't know the real euphoria of being held by someone you love and want unconditionally. They may live without any real sorrow, but they also live without any real joy, and most of them live without the dream of a true love that will make the world perfect. I know i will have that one day and that dream keeps me alive, i get the best of both worlds; the fun with them today and the dream of more.
I wonder if they have any real control over how they are.... i wish so much for them to feel more.
My ex K got engaged last week to a girl he says he is in love with sometimes, and happy with sometimes. I think settling is sad. I guess not everyone feels there's much of an option, and that is even sadder.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cairo at a Glance

Am moving back, after the constant state of chaos that has been predominant for the past few months, everything has fallen into place this week and I am moving back to beloved Cairo. As my job and social life in the south of France have expired and I don’t like the south of France enough to start all over there, I am happy to be moving back home to a challenging new job and .. well… home.
However, as someone who has lived away from home for two years plus, there are things that halt me and make me wonder if
Cairo has always been like this and I have been enlightened with a fresh eye, or if indeed things have changed…. From ten days in Cairo, I wonder about…

  1. Traffic. Explosive, uncontrollable, defiant to the laws of space and unyielding. I am told the government has consulted foreign experts and the pros said it is not solvable.
  2. The prevailing (and by prevailing I mean sole) topic of conversation is relationships. Marriages in particular, engagements are still hip though over due, and other ceremonial celebrations are hot hot topics. The status of people is now officially classified as single or attached. It is truly unbelievable. Divorce though, is much less frowned upon.
  3. Social consciousness; I myself caught myself watching people and labelling them in bodega, I who pride myself on being open minded and accepting and non judgmental. My other similar friend was doing it too. I think our brains switch to that mode when we land in Cairo. Shameful.
  4. Everyone is tired. No really, everyone is tired.
  5. Dust, in a relatively low on dust month I was congested through out.
  6. Corporate life: local companies trying to make it remain the same, either too much money horribly spilled all over the place in horrid taste, or people crammed in the endless start up phase. Both kinds suffer from the same general manager; obnoxious, full of himself, know it all, throwing technical terms all over the place to boost his own ego, during my interview.
  7. Money laundering: after working with business development for another too years, I walked the streets of zamalek and found myself wondering how on earth “teeto lil khordawat” and “el nasr shoes” or “antiques for your house” had any kind of income to cover their mere expense of renting a store in zamalek. It is fascinating how many shops look like they belong to another lifetime, and have nothing at all to offer any consumer. Money laundering it is, it has to be, no one is that dumb or that rich.

Beloved Cairo; I’m on my way.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The End of an Era

"But who will light that candle, if no one stays?" i ask
"no one" you say
"no one?"
"yes, no one, have you not bought candles and only lit them once before?"
"no, i wait"
"what for?"
"to keep lighting candles till they can't anymore..."
"till they're wax?"
"hmmm.... yes... i guess... till they're wax "
"why would you want to do that?"
"candles should always be lit"
"but that isn't a beautiful candle anymore..."
"what are you suggesting?"
"I'm not suggesting anything, i just don't get it"
"get what?"
"why you would get your light from sticky wax instead of lighting new candles"
"but then light that one only once as well?"
"well... not necessarily once, you know what i mean, so long as its pretty... in the name of what do you stick to wax?"

in the name of what indeed....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

To stroke a girls hair..

A friend of mine put his hands in my hair today.
It felt familiar although it wasn't, it felt soothing although it should've been weird, i didn't fully understand why it was happening and it didn't last long enough for me to reach my understanding. My friends hands in my hair made me think about how strange it is that some people's hands can find you with ease while others can never reach you and how it has little to do with anything rational. It also made me think of how gestures as these could have thrown my perceptions from one way to the other in another lifetime, and how today these same reaching outs in their power just make my day better. My friends hands in my hair made me feel older, and very innocent still.
I wonder if i stopped my habit of fixation, how many people could reach me that way.... i wondered if i didn't hide so well, how many people would dare to do that, i wondered if my friend in his notions felt the urge to do more...
I wondered if this comforting was of skill or emotion, was i responding to a mental move or a compassionate motion? Did he even know why his hands were in my hair?
Somehow in the stroking of my hair our realities did not deviate, we had a close perception of the situation, that happens so very rarely... and that is as comforting as the hair stroking of a distressed girl in itself.... for me at least.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Your eyes remain wide
your hands retain the cold
you took the bull by the horns
you were young and acting old
somewhere in your blood stream
you know just what it is
when it sees it, it will seize it
whatever - in all this - it is
you smashed the Greek dishes
and you played with the crane
you painted and not carefully
and you got naked in the rain
you did all they told you
to find the truth of you
you tried all that bestowed you
and now all you can do is wait
for anything to come to you

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'm sorry, i want it all. I am currently blogging from Milan airport, i have just payed 9.9 EUR to have Internet access to entertain myself and distract myself from how much of a foul mood i am in. I can't remember the last time i was this down. Objectively speaking, i have reason to be down, I've spent most of the past two months between hospitals and doctors discussing my heart, and not from an emotional aspect. My friend, companion, lover and co-bearer of the shit that is the cote d'azure has fled me and gone to follow the sun and the prospects the world has to offer him - and it will offer him - after taking care of me every day for two months. I am left with a job i loathe and one friend that doesn't make me want to punch her in the face.
Realistically speaking now, i have no friggin reason to be down. I lived through this bloody heart thing, i have gotten out of a dead end not so satisfying relationship even if it wasn't by choice and i can afford luxuries that the average third world country citizen doesn't know exists. I am being a brat, and frankly speaking at this very moment; i don't care.
You see i am not worked up about any of these things, i am not sad because i had health issues, i was worried and fed up but not sad. I am not heartbroken that T has left, to be heartbroken one must believe that one has lost, i have not lost, i have been made rid of against my ill judgement, and i know it all too well. I am not miserable right now because i hate my job, as i have not been anywhere near it in two months since i got sick.
I am so very annoyed and miserable because i want it all and i don't know how to go about getting it right now.
I want a job that gives me self worth, and that can be anything from window washing to a high powered executive desk job. I want a man who makes me fall head over heels and does the same and is everything i need him to be so i can actually want to be with him forever. I want to live somewhere where i have warm people in my life, friends and family, where people smile at each other and lend a helping hand. And lastly i want to be left to be, i don't want to be judged, and i don't want to be scrutinized and subjected to eye rolling, cursing or harassment at any point in my day let alone all day, i don't want to lie, or maneuver around society, or sneak around and hide. I want to live a happy peaceful life without fear or shame.
You are probably thinking, dream on, or who doesn't? But you know what, i am unhappy, and i know if i don't get what i want i will remain unhappy because i am stubborn and because i know that nothing is beyond reach if you want it badly enough to get up and get it. I am mostly unhappy because i know so much what i want, i just don't know how to direct myself now to get it, i feel like i am 17 all over again, and more probably than not in all the choices and decisions i will make in the next few months i will make a wrong one as i am merely human after all and it will throw me off where i want to go. I hear you saying make the most of what you have, i have, and it wasn't enough, call me greedy and ungrateful, but i just simply need more.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Little things

  • pictures
  • a good cheeseburger
  • a new episode of a favourite sitcom
  • wearing the most comfortable pants
  • a good book
  • hot chocolate on a cold day
  • the voice of a best friend on the phone
  • an unexpected text forcing a smile
  • sleeping in
  • a chat with a stranger who turns out to be nice
  • finding something precious that was lost
  • good news from a doctor
  • a trip back home

It's the little things...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

of the Million Thoughts...

  • I want to go somewhere warm
  • Trapped or wanting, escaping or hunting, is there ever just a state of being?
  • Monogamy, objective? subjective? rational or irrational?
  • Honesty about the failure to be monogamous, is that respectful or just cheeky?
  • Sanity, so very subjective, everyone i know is mad
  • Confidence, the ones who win are the ones who know they're winners, so often they are such losers i could cry, yet the world lets them win in their own realities. that bugs me.
  • Criticism, a waste of life and time
  • Love, measurable? a reality or a perception? a choice of forgiveness or self deluding?
  • This century is an in-between, a phase out from one way to the other, and this is neither
  • Growing up, the people to ask are getting fewer and fewer
  • Beauty is void without company, and company is such a luxury when you're a snob
  • Volatility is the worst human trait to that human

Note: this blog is expected to stay bleak till Friday, if i get to go home on Friday. If you want to read cheerful things, you will be disappointed.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

For Everything Orange

"Are those all your bags?"
"Do you have cash to pay my ticket?"
"Are you just going to leave like that?"
"It's too hard"
"Yes, I know it is"

And then he held me, and thanked me, again i find myself being thanked...
"thank you for loving me, for all the precious moments, for helping me.... thank you for your love..."

I had no words, and i sobbed like a child.

"you picked a sailor"

and i smiled, and said i knew and didn't regret it, the scary part is that i meant that.

I told him i loved him and then i left, and i've been crying ever since.

Damn this stupid life that makes you pay for all the good times and doesn't let you get away with mistakes.


I want a blueberry muffin and a caramel frappuccino. I woke up this morning and that is the only thing i feel like having. I had a fever last night, that made T's leaving that much more difficult. I don't know about the rest of the world but when i have a fever my threshold for pain becomes that of a 4 year old sissy, and i had a fever that kept me cold till 3:30am, and then had me sweating profusely all night, from my current experiences i would guess that to be around a 38 deg. So back to this morning, i woke up to a text at 6 am from T saying he was already on his way, he had obviously opened my message in a bottle that said i missed him already, as he said he missed me alot too, and was about to open his first present. I teared, pulled the pillow over my face and slept till 9 am. I woke up then with no real fever i think, and didn't remember yesterday till after ten minutes maybe, uurrggghhh.
All i want today is a blueberry muffin and a caramel frappuccino and i will watch six feet under all day, but we don't have starbucks in the south of France, the only chain we have is Mcdonalds, i would curse for the millionth time at this, but really, i can't be bothered today.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The "I love you" Syndrome

My family has never been an emotionally expressive one. It has never been a cold family, don't get me wrong, we have always been laughing, we always used humour to express our affection for each other and i always thought that was grand. I never doubted our love for each other, it was even more valuable for not being mentioned, it was so wonderfully beyond need for expression, it was perfect.
About a decade ago my sister lost all notions of a sense of humour and slumped into a depression that she is not yet out of, though at least now she tries, and my mother has never ever been a mushy woman, i honestly don't recall hearing the words "i love you" from either of them up till two years ago, ma out of being her, and my sister out of being angry at the world.
All that changed when i moved to France, my mother turned to goo, all of a sudden "I love you" became the natural ending of every sms, and every sentence when i was home. I got an email yesterday from my sister with her passport details, signing off with "i love you", and a scan of the passport today, also ending with "I love you".
I am not a cold person, i assure you i am not, and if you browse through this blog on any two random posts you will find me emotional and way too intense, i am always hugging my friends and telling them all the time how much i love them and they do the same, HOWEVER, i don't think that it's fair to change the family's way of relaying love after 24 years.
How am i supposed to react to this? I don't know why, but i can't really deal with it, i find myself replying to the I love you's mechanically, and hardly ever initiating them. I love my family dearly, but this just isn't the way i'm used to expressing it, i'm sorry if i'm a bitch, but this avalanche of over used "i love you's" just annoys me.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sit With Me

Sit with me
Wont you come and sit with me?
It's cold and crisp, its also clear
the sky that is
come sit with me
My nose is cold, my kettle's burning
I have questions , i have a yearning
I have a need for your hand
to take me through the maze of why
to shush me really, should my eyes intend to ...
I know you know beyond my knowing
I know you laid the tiles
long before my bones were growing
I know that if you would explain
I would not understand
so sit with me
Just sit with me
I really only need your hand

Friday, November 03, 2006

Things you wouldn't guess about me

am phobic to loud noises and voices, i cover my ears by reflex and tear when yelled at
was born in Northern Ireland
have no emotion whatsoever towards animals
think a long shower is the answer to everything
would buy a car instead of a house if i had to choose between them
watch every world cup fanatically
am an Engineer, graduated fourth of my class
cannot tolerate long toe nails
dated a Bedouin school drop out four times, over four years...
can't stand gold, save for wedding bands
read the divine comedy after watching "seven"
lose at cheating and monopoly EVERY time, though i work in business development
believe in reincarnation, and don't believe it contradicts with any religion (refrain from commenting)
have never owned a yellow item of clothing

Monday, October 30, 2006

Off my Chest

There is something about relationships that i don't understand; why is it so much easier to be in a relationship that is going to end? I know some people who slide in and out of healthy relationships with potential, they don't need to always be challenged, they don't want what they can't have, they don't need someone to always keep them on their toes and they don't have commitment and/or dependency issues. I have never been one of these people, and the men i end up with, are never of these people either....
What irritates me most is my knowledge that as i end up in these relationships, then i must be choosing these relationships, and to my own horror; i must be enjoying them... Why?
Why would an independent together adult need so much turbulence, so much drama, so much irresponsibility of endings, so much fear of risking to actually have to be with someone forever?
I classically want the unpredictable and unstable, as i know the one thing i can depend on them for is that they will want to leave eventually, hence saving me from ever having to think about a future, and more importantly, keeping my image of myself as the reliable one in tact. How messed up is that?
Instead of seeing the relationship for what it is, instead of going for something real; i dream, i enjoy the now and secretly wish for change, no part of me believes in this change, but it is so much easier to be hopeful and act delusional, knowing every date could be the last, every day everything could fall apart, and one day soon that person will be gone forever.
I think i need help.
I have wondered why i am like this for years, i have observed me and scrutinized me, many explanations by books and others presented themselves:

"you don't know how to enjoy your own company": so i moved to a country with no one there but me and spent 8 months alone, remedied the situation? No, and i discovered that i loved my own company.

"you don't love yourself enough": hmmmm... but i think i'm the shit.. i think i'm always right.. i am secretly obnoxious and arrogant and can't be bothered with most people... how can i not love myself enough??

"It's the absence of a father in your life since you were six": possibly, probably, but tough luck, what could i possibly do about that now???

I think i figured it out eventually, but you see that is not enough, that's the first step, so now that you know why you are fucked up, why you have bizarre behavioural patterns, now that you have realized just how destructive you are, and why, does that make you any less of it? Nope, it just makes you horribly aware of it, and you watch yourself making your bad choices, and ultimately you don't want to, or at least the part of you that suffered the consequences doesn't want to, and every other part of you does, and it turns into a lose-lose situation; you either act as destructively as you do and feel guilty towards yourself, or do the right thing and be miserable that you are not doing what you desire.... That was a horrible phase, then came doing something about it...

Ok, easy, I am going to change. I will make responsible choices and begin with the end in mind. I will not lead myself into hopeless situation of rush and lust and the pretense of passionate love.
Let me tell you this, after seven years of rush and lust and the pretense of passionate love and the struggle with the pain and drama, life becomes very boring with change. Everyone i met from that decision onwards who was allegedly a "responsible choice", bored me to a slow death. I tried to fight myself, to be open minded, to give it a chance, all to no avail, in an unrestrained moment of truth i would burst out and end it, and sigh with relief. It just wasn't who i was.
And i would go back to what i had, to the flirtations and fun of an irresponsible, non-committed fickle man, to the arms of the familiar stability of the unstable, and comfort of unreliability, to sharing a place of no worries and no speculations save for the pain that will come when it ends, as it will, as we both know and have agreed to..... I will always be struggling for more stability, and he will always be struggling to find someone who might make him more restful... if only we would both change just a little bit... as if we didn't both believe that no such change could ever happen... Two mad people only finding safety in the unsafe....

T has been rendered my last bad choice, the last time i let myself do this, let my heart want what it can't have and take the easy way out. According to him I have spent more time with him this month than he has spent with any girl ever, i have gotten to know his stories, his beliefs, his reasons, his dreams... i even know his blood type now, and i know now what he loves about me and what annoys him. Isn't it fucked up that our relationship only became real 6 weeks before it was meant to end?

I am tired, every second i spend with him i am happy, and the second i leave him i am tired, i am tired of waiting for him to leave, of wanting every moment till then to be happy, of the anxiety of how i will take it when he actually goes and i also have to face an empty France i have grown to resent.
I am mostly terrified that this is all i know and i will do it all over again.
Something tells me that this is simply who i am.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I will not run
when you leave and i have to face the music i wont run
when i am again questioning myself, i wont run
if you turn out like every other leaf
like every tear rubbed off my face onto my sleeve
i will not run
if you bid me farewell in your crossing
if you forget me in your reality
if the me i forge becomes so weary in this tossing
i will not run
i will sleep, and i will tear
i will surrender to the fear
i will look myself in the eye
this time i wont wonder why
and i will not run.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Can you?

What happens when...

you dream of the person and wake up to find him next to you
you love someone so purely, that it makes you love yourself more
your day is so gentle that you can't believe it's real, and you want nothing more
you dream of a person, other than the one sleeping next to you, and know that that's ok
you look at God with adoring eyes, and look at religeon and not even see it, and still find peace
you find out that you can be everything you want to be or will want to be, and actually practice that power
you grow up, and understand that no one you know knows better than you, about you, and you manage on your own

What happens?

Can you handle the overwhelming realization that you are happy?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Good Morning

Lazy morning
cloudy blankets
tranquil quietness of fall
leaves in reds, threats of rain
the terrace always feels the same
the hair's a mess, the coffee's warm
a pashmina wrapped around the arms
the horizon calls
but not in sad tones anymore
good morning life
how you dance
how you tip toe and you play
how you put a quiet smile on my face today

Monday, October 16, 2006

On ER, ICU and what have you...

I didn't know if i would blog about it. Ironically i had so much blogging material the last two weeks, and no access to Internet.. Now it is heaps and heaps of blogging material waiting to either be written up and posted, or discarded as to have missed the blog. On my way back from the hospital i decided i would for two reasons, 1. i want to remember this for when i feel like life is difficult, and 2. because i want a certain someone to know what he got me through.

On the night of Thursday the 5th, i stayed awake till 5am from pains in my upper back, shoulders, neck and chest, at that point i took three pain killers and slept, as i had been doing on and off for the past month. I slept in, went to work late, and within two hours was so out of breath and focus that i drove myself to my general doctor for the third time this month with more or less the same complaints. I parked, and took my purse and cell phone which were the only things i could carry at this point, and found her associate instead. The woman examined me, and after many of what i now know are heart disease related questions she told me that she suspects i have a heart infection and will write me a letter to take to the emergency room in the hospital. She did as promised, i did as told; drove myself to the hospital, two items i can carry in hand and admitted myself into the emergency room.
Note: the emergency room is accessed by ringing a bell, and then you wait till they answer you, and there are no chairs for you to sit down on. This struck me as quite scary, and while i contemplated whether or not i should sit on the floor till they let me in, i extrapolated the absence of chairs for people in urgent need and what that meant about all the other services in the hospital.
As i was about to opt for the floor sitting they opened their doors, and it began. Four hours of examining me, i apparently had a fever, i apparently had very low blood pressure, and on picking me to take some blood my pressure dropped to the point of passing out and i actually had a french nurse slapping me across the face screaming "reste avec moi! reste avec moi". Forgive me, but even at 60/50 blood pressure, this was waaay too theatrical for me.
After four hours and alot of doctors, machines and discussions going on in french while i dosed off into a state of zombie like submissiveness, an English speaking doctor was brought to me by the ER doctor who had adopted me since i clutched his arm and wouldn't let go three hours ago. The English speaking doctor was the most impeccable man i have ever seen, a man of very few words, later i was to forever be in debted to that man, but at that point, i wanted to punch him. He icily relayed to me that i had an infection in the heart, resulting in liquid amounting to a can of coke's volume all around my heart. As a result my heart had been exerting triple the effort, i have had all these pains in my upper body, and i have been short of breath. It was advanced, they did not comprehend how i had left it till now or had tolerated the symptoms, they would treat me for five days, if the liquid level didn't go down they would have to operate to drain it out, i was not allowed home, and i was to spend the night in intensive care.
Too much information, with too little information, i recall in my fever actually asking him, on a scale from one to ten, one being the flue and ten being this might kill me this week, where are we?
His reply that day and for the next 24 hours was the same, everything has a risk, and yes it is dangerous if we don't fix it. I understood that i am to shut up, and let them do their thing. I would be getting no "isa kheirs", or "matkhafeeshs", aw "baseeta wi sahla, mafeehash ay khatar". I would be getting no bullshit, oh how i yearned for some bullshit..

I spent the night in Intensive care, or what they call "reanimation" which is actually resuscitation.., i will go into that in a bit, i spent the night in pains that had somehow magnified, an entire upper body pissed off because of the can of coke worth of liquid. They woke me up at 6 am, took 23 tubes of blood from me, i swear, 23! and later i am to find out they were testing me for everything imaginable to find out how i got what i got and what they should give me to stop it.
English speaking doctor walked in at 11am with a smile and the news: we're going to operate, we don't know why you have this, you're in too much pain and we need to analyze that liquid to give you the right medicine.
I think that is when i crashed. I had my cell phone with me, i asked the doctor if i should tell my mother about this, and he reminded me that i am 26, an adult, and i am to do as i see fit. Ouch. I was sedated to be able to make that phone call, a cheerful light breezy phone call to the woman in Cairo telling her that i am in hospital getting something checked out, no worries, its all basic standard procedure, she was a rock, as she always is, i hung up, the sedative was working, and i peacefully went to the anesthetic room, and then the operating room, where the hilarious french nurse told me to think of cool kind things till i went out. The next thing i know they are slapping me, and i have a drain coming out of my chest, to be left there to drain the liquid out of my heart for the next four days.
I spent six days in intensive care, they were of the most difficult days i have been through. There is something about being connected to screens and solutions in a gown on a bed in the middle of a cold room with absolute strangers invading your most private activities and severely sick people in a similar state wailing from pain across the room that is extremely traumatizing. I think the worst thing was that i didn't feel sick enough to be there. I must've been or they wouldn't have kept me there for six whole days, but it didn't feel like it, i was too aware and awake through out it. I didn't feel like i needed to be bathed by someone, i didn't feel like i was not fit to go all the way to the bathroom to pee!
I had my cell phone (somehow), a few books, and my ipod. I had a drawer with underwear and a toothbrush in it. I spent the day clinging to my three threads of sanity staring out a far away window trying not to indulge the thoughts that present themselves at this state.
They took out the drain and stitched me up last Wednesday, and moved me to a normal room on Thursday, a week later. I took a shower by myself, and brushed my own hair, i wore my own pyjamas, and wasn't connected to anything, be it machine or plastic tube. I sat on a chair and had a view. It had passed. I was away from that place with all the monsters in the head.

They let me go this morning after eleven days, ten of which they daily tested my blood and everything else i could give them to test, monitored my heart and what have you, and radio scanned the hell out of me. All the veins in my arms are bruised from the cannula thing, and at the end they didn't find what gave me this virus. They treated me for everything anyway and gave me 12 more days off work. I have two wounds, one from the operation and one from the drain, the one from the drain still has the staples in it, i get those removed after tomorrow.

There are things one learns from situations like this, that life is scary and precious, that a job that makes me miserable must be quit, that being in my own country day in and day out is invaluable, and that some people are made of gold. I will forever remember two people who got me through this, the infamous T who has made up for everything he ever did wrong by coming to the intensive care every day twice for six days, playing tawla with me, bringing me books and headsets and fresh underwear, holding my hand, bringing me cookies and clothes from my house and basically bringing a smile into dreadful days. And the other person is the one I'm writing this for to read who doesn't know how much he's helped.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The World

The world is vast and wide. I am currently trying to decide on what to do next with my life. I have enough money put away now to be able to afford a new start pretty much anywhere, provided i land a job soon. I bring out the map, that is what my indecision has come to, i actually bring out a map of the world and look at it pensively. I start with Europe, the natural process. Paris? Bad weather, still amongst the French. Barcelona? Low pay, scarce jobs, new language barrier. Germany? Ekh. Italy? See Spain. Switzerland? Zzzzzzz. Holland? Hmmmm... friendly, English spoken, beautiful flowers. London? Hmmm... very hip, very me, very possible, very cold.
But Europe is such a small part of the map! My eyes wander off to the other masses of land forming continents amidst bulks and bulks of water. New York? I'd probably die of stress. Boston maybe? Brrrrr. Brazil? :) But that's not a years move is it? I mean who goes to Brazil and leaves Brazil? South Africa... Melbourne...?
My eyes fall on North Africa, Egypt, Cairo... how can i feel nostalgic and the urge to vomit at the same instant? I dread the traffic, i dread Mr.Oriental Judgmental Man, i dread embracing sexual harassment again as an accepted part of my day, i dread everything that has to go through a process governed by the government, i fear for my sanity. And yet a force pulls me towards that part of the map, a mother, an identity, a sense of belonging, and an endearing warmth i haven't felt in almost two years now. I confirm it in my mind that Egypt is a place that nurtures self destruction and suppresses the soul so much that when it finds freedom in any refuge, it tries with all its might to turn that refuge into a new home.

One last glance at the map, the Caribbean maybe for the winter?
I fold the map and put it away and decide as i have everyday for the past two weeks to wait patiently for my boss's reply to my status-quo email, to postpone mega decisions that would break my mothers heart, and try to ignore the nagging voice telling me to go home.
Where did i put my book?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Morning's Disarming

There's something about him
Sleeping like that both arms hugging the fluffy pillow
There's something about him
He looks so peaceful, he almost looks kind
He looks like the man i insist he is in my mind
His knees are curled up towards his chest like a child
His face is passed out from the hardship and the wild
There's something about him, the way his breath is so regular
About how the rhythm of his chest is so reliable
I know i should leave, I'm already late
But there's something about him now that makes me wait
I sit on the edge of the white linen bed
I sit in the aura of my baby's scent and sweat
It seems he feels me, or maybe he smells me
and he reaches from under the covers and tells me
"come here to me for a second"
I Cherish the moments he holds me so purely
I relish this hug where he loves me so surely
Where i am the best way, to start his day
I smile, i am happy in the now with the man i know could exist
I am happy now even though I know when he calls me later today
He will be the man he is

Monday, October 02, 2006


I stutter
the shreds of that shirt
are swimming in the gutter
I shiver
you know better than to walk away
if i quiver
I glare
you know i can't resist the torture
of fingers in my hair
I grit
my teeth, my skin
the neck that you just bit
I moan
from the char i need to part with
carved within on walls by stone
I groan
In dellirium i reach for blankets
to stop the cold from grating bones
I pant, I mutter
I need a shirt to replace
the shreds swimming in the gutter

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In Due Time

I used to swing upon a star
and live out dreams of just how far
I'd walk the earth, and swim the seas
I used to map my life on trees
I knew that in my little dress
my super powers were no less
than those i heard of and was told
could always turn ash into gold
And then one year it seemed i saw
that all my dreams had been flawed
that all my passions had been breached
by the reality of what we can reach
in a world so smudged and broken
and a soul that is forsaken
I cried for help, i was not told
that all the energy i could hold
would be so misconstrued and whored
and all i loved, i loved no more
And then the days that roughly went
held my hand and dried my sweat
"now that you have seen my love
just how much we need your love
now that you have glimpsed the world
go out and spread your heartfelt word"

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday De-Junking

I woke up early this morning with the instant realization that today was mine. My apartment was a mess, my car needed to be picked up from the garage, my laptop needed to be personalized, my dishes needed to be saved from walking down the steps all by themselves, my hair needed to be dyed to cover the fiasco that is the golden summer streaks in November, my nails needed to be filed, i had a million things to do that would inevitably contribute to getting my life together. Yes, i know its sounds silly, but a clean house, a fixed car and freshly dyed hair can equal a fresh start, yes, believe me, it can.
I have accomplished all of the above, except the dye which is in my hair as i blog, the nails, and attacking the new laptop, it's only 6:30 pm, not bad, not bad at all.
While organizing my wardrobe i decided to put aside all the clothes i do not wear to give away, all you have to do in antibes is put a bag on the street and someone will find it in two minutes flat. Then i decided to throw in all the make up i do not use, and all the perfumes i do not use (ok, perfume), and all the kitchen utensils i do not use. I have decided that i want no more clutter, in my wardrobe, in my apartment, in my head, i want no more clutter in my life.

The dye is dripping down my neck and even though it is semi-permanent i still don't want auburn skin, so i will have to end this post. To everyone out there with a bit of a jumbled head, i invite you to de-junk your personal space, it will make you feel less crowded and its a bit of charity on the side.

Have a great day.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Something's Gotta Give...

Do you believe in signs?
I do....
Do you think that whenever there is a beginning there must be an end?
I don't want to, but I am forced to accept this.
However... when our lives take the form of many consecutive stories, many simultaneous over lapping phases... are we then to be rendered exciting and making the most of our live, or unstable people?
My life is a series of phases, if I were to sit down with a paper and a pen, I would map out 26 years broken down over tens of phases, each phase hardly lasts more than two - three years. There are constants of course, childhood friends and some picked up along the way, family, studies, but not much more, not much more at all....

From how I look, to how I feel, to what I believe in, to who I am, every phase presents new experiences, harder choices and new lessons, with that said the hardest lesson that I am yet to learn is the passing from one phase to the other, the ending of eras, letting go.

Though all the pain in my life comes from endings, and withdrawal symptoms of letting go, letting go of places, friends, jobs, regrets, bad memories, lovers.... Though more and more I detach myself from everything around me but myself, though I have learnt to feel much less to things I know could go, I am yet to learn that lesson as I should.

I don't want to be any more detached than this, any tougher than this, with any more control over my emotions than this, yet in this moment of utter breakdown I find myself turning to God and asking him to make me numb. I just don't want to feel the consequences affecting me from other things, other people, other lives...

I am grateful to all I have learnt living in France for all this time, but I know that I was not meant to stay here for longer than this, to save my happiness and my sense of identity I need to leave this place. I think it's time to go home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Managing Upwards

Today I blog to stop my face from falling right into the keyboard. I am at the office, I have my own office, I have no music on as this is a borrowed laptop, I have my fourth cup of coffee sitting next to my laptop smiling at it's victory over my nicotine addiction, and I am half asleep.
The reason I am half asleep is not that I have not had enough sleep, the reason I am half asleep is because I am bored out of my wits. Yesterday I sent Boss #1 (the one that hired me and sent me here yet doesn't manage me really) an email, that email basically entailed that as now monster man (Boss #2 who doesn't want me to work here as I uncover his corruptions and is forced to manage me and does so by answering my questions with bare minimum input) has finally suggested that I sell directly from our Cairo office to be able to price more competitively, I expect to have a functional job. The email stated that he is now to make a decision regarding me, if he is to extend my contract he is to know that he will be expected to invest in me as an employee who does international sales and properly pay my compensation as agreed upon two years ago on time and covering all aspects agreed on. The email stated that if he feels this to not be a worthy investment to refrain from extending my contract end of year, and let me know now.
Since then I have been on strike till I receive a response, (on strike being working as usual with daily tasks of ongoing sales and quotations and preparing reports required by monster man who is currently in the office).
Note: monster man is only in the office for two weeks every ten
On strike means zero initiation. So as I am awaiting the same piece of missing information that has been missing since last week to launch my market report, and since I have sent out all the samples for the day, and since I have replied to all my emails and sent out all my quotations, I am now falling asleep, as my strike prevents me from reading my "sales for dummies" book, my "Marketing Management" book, and the first issue to arrive from the key magazine of the industry. I have no budget to plan business trips, well I never do, but I wont fight for a budget for a business trip. I will do nil till I have a response on that email. Nil.
But I am seriously falling asleep at my desk.... more coffee?