Life, grossly overrated, I find.
"Senora Melissi" in "The Mystery of the Blue Train" by Agatha Christie

An unexpected guest, Weltschmerz knocked on my door. He removed his shoes, loosened his tie then slumped heavily on the chair across. It seemed that he'll be my companion for a while, uninvited.

This past week has been hectic yet drudgingly boring. I've driven to Amman, Jordan and back to Tartous for a 72-hour trip. I've been to new places and met fresh faces that I can't remember anymore. I took the semi-quotidian drive to Lattakia several times and despite the welcomed changes in weather and foliage, I failed to respond to external stimuli. I had more than my share of drinks and dinners, of weddings and funerals, yet I couldn't react on the emotional level. I seem to be impermeable to the colorful pleasures or the grim pains of an unbending reality.

Hours give way to days, weeks to months, years to decades. I am married with children. All of a sudden, they're grown-ups and going to college. Only yesterday I was a weird college kid myself with messed up hair and fucked up brains. Then I held her up in my arms the moment she came to this world. She took her first steps in that home by the sea that is no more. She packed a suitcase and I drove her through a desert road to her new home. I held back my tears long enough so she couldn't see them and sauntered into her empty room. Framed pictures of frozen moments in time stared back at me as if I were a total stranger. "We're still here", pleaded her sister and brother without a sound, "for how long", I wondered wordlessly. On a giant whiteboard, children draw their destinies with impermanent markers, erasing earlier smears left by weary parents. The footsteps we leave behind gradually fade until they totally disappear. Tender caresses under an olive tree, stolen kisses in a squeaky elevator, passionate lovemaking behind closed doors forever dissolve with the setting sun.

جئت للدنيا وحيداً

ووحيداً أذهب

عجب سر مجيئي

وذهابي أعجب

آه من هذي الحياة

بين هذي الكائنات

لهفتي تأكل ذاتي

كيف منها أهرب

(لا أذكر اسم الشاعر)

I often wonder what it's all about. Persistent, I turn to God. I search within for an answer which I know I will never find. I open up to the outside, to eternal words of truth, wisdom and gravity but I get lost further. Clueless, I splash the ice and pour the Scotch. I stare at the amber fluid and nurse its spirit as it mingles with mine. I am all alone after all.


Ammoontie said…
I guess thats 'life' my dear. We all go through the same phase.
I am beginning to realise the cold truth, that I am 'alone' after all.
Enjoy the quiet moments....before the grandkids come home..!
Maysaloon said…
The future we fear becomes the present that we hate and gradually the past that we love and miss.
annie said…
What a wonderful post. Thank U Abufares.
KJ said…
I am sure people will give you a lot of tips and the we-share-the-same feeling sort of stuff.

So what I would suggest is that you drink concentrated juice without adding water. The taste will be incredibly horrible and you'd want to kill yourself. After you have swallowed a half cup or something, THEN drink water.

When you later on pee it would be a relief and the sensation is amazing and you'd feel good about yourself.
Abufares said…
Esta la vida for sure.
I guess we're lucky after all. We don't get into this melancholic mood all the time. Yet when ennui gets the better of us, the Weltschmerz is so total and overwhelming we think that this is the end (for us individually that is).
Sooner than later, we get back to face the day to day struggle, neither stronger nor weaker.
We just move on.
Abufares said…
Hey Wassim, holla.
Well said as we move backward in time since tomorrow becomes a today and eventually a yesterday.
Abufares said…
To Annie
Thank you for being here. Your brief passage made me un-alone for a while.
Abufares said…
Akh Ya KJ
I will follow your advice word for word :-)
Here's mine to you, substitute concentrated orange juice with a Bathet Arak, then drink the water and roll on the floor (i.e. mix well). Whether you'll make it to the bathroom or not isn't really what matters. You will certainly feel better at one point in time later.
Unknown said…
كما يقول الماغوط
:"((لاشيء يربطني بهذه المروج
سوي النسيم الذي تنشقته صدفة فيما مضي
ولكن من يلمس زهرة فيها
يلمس قلبي.))

الروح لا تهرم يا أبو فارس، رغم هشاشة القلب و كثافة الاحتمالات
انا لا زلت أرى نفسي طفلة ً أسرح شعر جدي الأقرع و أخترع لغةً أغني فيها لأبي ..لليدين و العينين لغةً لا تجف..و حيثما يذهب أولادنا ، نذهب معهم..
أرى أبي في كلِ شارع و شجرة و نجمة، أصلي أن تضحك و انت في ثمالتك..
أن ترقص و أنت في غمرة الألم..
و طوبى لروحك الخصبة و لبحرك الذي لا يغادر دمه
Abufares said…
Nirvana, my lighthouse from across the seas...
You may or may not be aware of my fascination with lighthouses. In a parallel world, I would've given it all up to be a lonely lighthouse keeper in the middle of the vastness of the ocean.
My life has turned out differently and I have to thank providence for filling up my existence with the joys and pains of being a loving husband and a caring father.
Yet, dormant in the deep dungeons of my psyche, my longing for a life of solitude on a cold rocky island is a strange dream never to be fulfilled.
saint said…
Abu Fares,
Nice post, but little sad. I hope for brighter post in the future. The proverb for Sidhu, took me to the interview he made with Larry King. I’m pasting it for the fun part of it not for the politic part of it, because it would spice up the post, if you don’t mind.
Here is the interview
To spice up its war coverage for South Asia, CNN recently roped in maverick
cricket commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu. Here he is on Larry King Live.
Larry: Well, we've seen the fall of Kabul. Do you think that wraps up the
war? Can Bush rest easy now?
Siddhu: A fallen lighthouse is more dangerous than a reef. You may have got
the top order but one must not forget that the Taliban has a long tail. War=
like cricket, is a game of glorious uncertainties. It will be interesting t=
see what position Musharraf will take now that the Northern Alliance is all
over Afghanistan. President Bush must remember that when he is dining with
the demon he must have a long spoon.
Larry: But surely the allied campaign has been a success. First
Mazar-e-Sharif, now Kabul...
Siddhu: True, the Taliban top order seem like bicycles in a cycle stand-one
falls down and the complete row will be down. But don't write off bin Laden
& Co. Afghanistan is a turning wicket and you could be in for some
surprises. In cricket they say you cannot afford to relax. The same holds
true for a war. It's an ill omen when a fox licks its lambs. There should be
no let up-you have to keep pegging away till you have squashed the enemy.
Larry: Over a hundred sorties flown. Surely, one has to give some room for
Siddhu: Larry, statistics are like mini-skirts, they reveal less than what
they hide.
Larry: How do you rate the US chances of nabbing Osama bin Laden?
Siddhu: Well, my friend, all I can say is that it is very difficult to kill
a man who is completely hell-bent upon committing suicide.
Dubai Jazz said…
Abu Fares,
Being sensitive to the world around us is not a bad thing, we are human beings after all, we are not omnipotent...
In fact, what I can\'t stand in a man (or a woman) is that he/she be completly inadvertent to the realities of the world around him/her...
Abufares said…
@ Saint
Thank you for giving credit where it's due (Siddhu).
It goes without saying that to enjoy the special moments of life we have to go experience boredom every once in a while.
Hopefully, by next week, I'll snap out of it and write something silly ;-)
Abufares said…
@ DJ
Thank you for calling me sensitive DJ. I wish you the best for today, and everyday;-)
Shannon said…
The Syrian Brit said…
It seems that your friend 'Weltschmerz' has been dropping by everywhere!.. He's been visiting me for some time now!.. Like an unwelcome guest, he just barges in and refuses to go...
I guess, after all, this is life.. and without such unwelcome visitors, we would not fully appreciate those delightful, precious moments that we simply live for..
Abufares said…
Thank you for the simple word.
Abufares said…
Syrian Brit
He's not my friend, I swear. You're so right, although not without irony.
Only fools search for the meaning of life and evry once in a while, we fill the role.
Ascribo said…
Oh dear! So that guy that comes once in a while and be a heavy guest actually has a name: 'Weltschmerz'...I wouldn't dare ask him, how very enlightening!

Anyway, now that he's gone, and if you're in the mood to write something silly, I'd really appreciate it if you can tell us about some very colloquial "tartoussi" proverbs...I really feel like hearing some.
Anonymous said…
I didn't want to ruin this post with a meaningless comment. Just know that I'm reading you, as always, and I am often left wondering, dreaming or thinking about everything you write so beautifully. Ya salam ya Abufares.
CG said…
Wow. I too do not know what to say after reading that. It has left me deep in thought. Nice post.
Abufares said…
Ascribo, so glad to see you back in cyberspace.
I hope you're doing well on the other side of the world.
Let me see... some Tartoussi proverbs... I'll think of something and find a way to write about it.
Take care.
Abufares said…
Rime, thank you for reading, wondering, dreaming and thinking about my post(s).
It doesn't feel the same without you being a part of it all.
Abufares said…
Thank you for dropping by. I hope to see you around more often. My "guest" is gone. I should get back to my normal self by next post.
Angel said…
Highly captivating post! ....thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts Abufares, thank you

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