All That Jazz

For the past ten years, I have been avoiding the confrontation with the terrible flu through vaccination. The regularity of the seasonal torment confining me to bed for days has almost disappeared. I get through most years without even a stumble. But in the dying throes of 2006, I succumbed to a horrible strike of merciless cold. I’ve been reduced to a lump of aching muscles, mind rendered senseless by the Frankensteinian chemistry of prescribed and over the counter medications. It certainly is obvious that The Cold would and should take its course, but in my case it is primal fear, an embedded instinct to fight this ruthless monster with potions and magical incantations, to not only hit it below the belt, but to rip its goddamn balls off with my own hands, only if I could.
I have finally sighted the faint light at the end of the tunnel. I still hurry to bed, covering myself from head to toe and shiver like a wet puppy every so often. But I am finally sleeping without the intrusion of nightmarish visions and sounds.
I should’ve answered this tag before the knockout, but I had no idea what was in store for me. Thank you Dubai Jazz for catalyzing my resurrection. I needed something like this to get me on track again.

1- Are you a principled person? Or are you pragmatic?
Everyone falls somewhere in between except fools and scoundrels. I am more of a fool. I try to be pragmatic as long as it doesn’t affect my principles. Not succeeding in the first part of the equation all the time is only normal.

2- Do you believe in people or in ideas?
Ideas are the brainchildren of people. In the end, however, I value the novel more than the author. I could care less about the personal eccentricities or the downfalls of those individuals who became great because of their work, because of the ideas they left behind.

3- How good are you in separating what is business from what is personal?
Oh, I am very good at that. When I have to really be objective or when I get to the point where I have to issue a moral choice, I am a professional. Now, I usually do not place myself in such corners. But, if it came down to the wire and I were forced with such a moral choice, even an enemy can be assured that I will be fair to the best of my ability.

4- Do you have role models? How good are you in following their trajectory?
I really don’t. Almost all of my favorites are dead. Besides, almost all of them are writers. Do I wish I could write like them? Sure, why not. Am I going to write like them? Nah, not likely.

5- A British saying goes: “Manners maketh a man”, what else do you think makes a man ‘a Man’?
Word of honor, more so than manners. A man, or a woman for that matter, without a word of honor is worth shit.

6- Do you believe in taking risk? Do you follow your guts feeling? Has it ever failed you?
Taking calculated risks is what separates the men from the boys. Live your life by calculations only and you are either a dull banker or a neurotic accountant. Jumping at risky junctions just for the sake of excitement and you’re not going be around for long to tell about it. I’ve taken many calculated and failed risks, which incidentally make me feel very good about myself.

7- Have you ever been through a ‘paradigm shift’? if not, do you believe that such process exists?
With too little information or with the wrong type of data, one might reach the wrong conclusion(s). I have done that on numerous occasions I believe. But then again, I am not the type of person who jumps to conclusions or make generalizations. I don’t reach moral verdicts easily.

8- Do you believe in unilateral love? Have you ever been through such experience?
Nah, I am not the type. May be as a kid, I have had a crush on some (older) voluptuous pubescent maiden(s), but it was a crush and a crush only. As soon as I developed a vocabulary to match my hormonal reactions, I would make a move. When I was turned away it usually meant the end of any further advances as far as that lass was concerned. There has always been other fish in the sea.

9- How good is your assimilation within your social sphere?
I am perfectly at ease with or without people. I value friends and loved ones and their company tremendously. But at the end of the rope, I enjoy my solitude. It is my belief that nobody can be happy with others if he or she is not happy with themselves.

10- Can you name some of your new year’s resolutions?
Like all celebrities I need to lose some weight. I am afraid that I am way beyond the point of no return as far as perfect physical condition is concerned. But, I wish I could get my weight to 75kg. Am I willing to miss a delicious meal here or cold beer there? I honestly doubt it. But it would be nice nevertheless to look like a mature “jackal”. Since I have no real motive, I am in doubt of any serious result.

Thank you Dubai Jazz for the engaging questions. More importantly, thank you for getting me out of bed. I would very much like to tag ArabLady with these questions.


Dubai Jazz said…
Hi Abu Fares; Al Hamdellah Ala Al Afiah.
First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time and the effort to answer those questions, with such great honesty and straightforwardness.
When I came to know about your blog two month ago, I went reading through the archives, every other post I read got me more zealous to read more. It is self evident that you write with a captivating style, a fervent flow of thoughts and emotions formed with apt words and colorful metaphors.
My understanding is that it is in your plans (long or short term) to write a novel. Allow me to encourage you to go ahead with it. I truly think you would make a great writer. (No undue praise here!)
As for taggin Arab Lady, I have not really been to her blog before, but I would be more than happy to see her taking part.
Thank you again and Adha Mubarak Abu Fares, wish you a happy and healthy Eid.
Anonymous said…
Glad you are feeling better. I used to get a similar kind of flu every couple of years. Thank God, I have not had one for about four years. I have not even had a cold for more than two. My suggestion, take a spoonfull of honey in the morning and one in the evening!! Maybe I should send you some of the honey I get from my four bee hives!!
Abu Abdo
Karin said…
What great and straight forward answers Abufares ... I hadn't expected less though!! ;-)
You were - and still are - SICK??? OMG ... I was wondering and actually convinced, you're busy having fun with the family and therefore away from blog and SKYPE!! I am so sorry dear friend ... and wish you SPEEDY AND COMPLETE RECOVERY!!
I hope we'll be able to write/SKYPE soon again!!
Abufares said…
Happy Eid Dubai Jazz
Once again, thanks for helping me get on my own two feet again.
As for writing a novel, ummm, I really wish to but still lack the required stamina. May be one day, or possibly never.
Take care...
Abufares said…
Habibi Abu Abdo
Adha Moubabrak. My best wishes to you, Om Abdo and all the family down under.
Honey would work, if mixed with something stronger. Unfortunately, I didn't have the stomach for anything in the last few days.
Hopefully soon!
Abufares said…
Hi Karin
Eid Adha Moubarak. I'm never too busy to be in touch with you. As a matter of fact I tried Skype a couple of times but a little later than usual. I am on the recovery path. I didn't make it all the way yet, but I'm getting there.
Have the best of times. We'll talk again.
Anonymous said…
what great answers! Really thoughtful and thought provoking. Eid mubarak!
Abufares said…
Eid Moubarak to you Arima.
By the way, excellent choice with your new profile picture.
Thank you for being here.
Anonymous said…
Dear Abu Fares , is interested to search in the inside,summarize ur feelings to get the tag answered,
unlucky...(to me)
it is not enough...!..however...
it is ur BRILLIANT & characteristic way in keeping me reading without getting bored..specially when i have exams:-)hehehehehe..
really i am happy & eager to read more and more..So !
keep it up..!

by the way:
Happy Eid..& Salamtak.
Abufares said…
Black Hawk
Kol 3am Wa Anta Bi Kheir
Happy New Year to you & to All.
2006 seems to have been a sad years for the Free Spirits of the World.
I hope, somehow, we can turn the table this time around.
Who knows, miracles can still happen...
Anonymous said…
Dear Abu Fares,
It was Sad..and a disaster by all means...specially when u have a great leader executed?!!and when !?!
in the first day of EID!..Shame on Arabs!shame on the END of the man who said NO ! to the American Empire..the man who stand out with us against enemy in october war...the generous man who saved Damascus!
Everyone knows what he did for palestinian people in Iraq and for Intifada. He stopped exporting Petrol during second Intifada.
i am really sorry for putting these her dear Abu Fares..
but i wanted to rest my soul!,hope i did....
Ingrid said…
I admit, I have had little time to visit all the blogs on my list (my mom is visiting) but I am taking a few moments this morning to wish everyone a happy or a better new year. Like you, I HATE the cold. I start pumping the meds in as soon as I find out and take at least 20 to 25 grams of Vitamin C and drink lots of water. Vitamin C only works effectively if taken in high doses when sick (can attest to that) and you can liken it to a natural antibiotic but without the side effects. I'm glad your seeing the end of the tunnel, we were sick over Christmas and still have remnants..I rather deal with pain than a cold any time!
Get well soon Abufares, and all the best to you and your family in the new year,
hugs (from a safe and non infectious distance lol)
Abufares said…
Dear Ingrid
I got around reading your comment around midnight local time. It was the last comment in 2006 and the first I've read then replied to in 2007.
I ushered the passing year with a terrible cold, however, and despite it being one of the worst years to sweep by in recent memory, I still look forward positevely into the future.
For many people in the Middle East, we would jokingly say something like it couldn't get any worse than this. Then, a Texan idiot of a president managed to surprise us and everybody else with actually making it much worse than imaginable.
Despite all of the above, we have to persist and look forward bright and peaceful days ahead.
Wishing you and yours the best for this new year and years to come.
Dubai Jazz said…
Dear Abu Fares, it is mind-boggling to see how 'justice' is being applied by the virtue of the whip. Had Saddam given them what they wanted, they wouldn't have executed him, this is the logic of the 'Bush doctrine': "Be with me or I'm gonna get your ass". Plain black and white, no grey shades at all. BTW, isn't that the world from Osama's perspective? plain black and white?.....
Sorry for the rant Abu Fares, but I second BlackHawk, we need to vent.....
Abufares said…
Dear Black Hawk, Dear Dubai Jazz

I know that you, like many others, are upset and need to vent your frustration.
As for me, and this has nothing to do with whether I like or dislike the politically assasinated Iraqi President, I just hope that in this year 2007, George Khara Bush follows him. I would personally prefers he is executed by means of a poisoned penis and in public.
I am sorry, I am usually a well mannered man, but not this time.
Anonymous said…
...Poisoned penis...just one..??!! I don't think there will be any shortage of volunteers who would glady "martyr" their penises for such a noble cause...!! I am not the vengeful type, but this asshole has done so much damage, it will take humanity at least a couple of generations to recover...
Fenella said…
Funny...I think now, several years later, you're approaching your ideal weight! Am I right? What changed? A new motive perhaps? ;)
Abufares said…
Hello my dear. A new motive that has bee lurking under the surface all along... waiting to happen.
Then it came along ;-)

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