I woke up at 4:42AM, three minutes before the alarm went off. I showered quickly, drank my espresso, ate a cookie and went downstairs to the waiting taxi. Normally, the trip to Damascus drags forever but the two hours and thirty minutes drive to the airport flew by so fast I couldn’t believe it when I found myself in front of the terminal. I checked in, a good time ahead of my flight and waited indifferently in the boarding area. I had The Great Gatsby with me, a gift from a dear friend, but saved it for the flight just in case I needed a distraction. Sure enough, the plane was full of babies, nervous mothers, weary looking men and a wild bunch. It always amazes me how aviation, the most regulated industry of all, permits the airlines to provide travelers with such ridiculously uncomfortable seats. All airlines CEO’s and airplane designers should be forced to sit for the rest of their lives in these miniature stools. I endured the ordeal like a sardine in a tin box while the two passengers I was stuck in between snored all the way to London. F. Scott Fitzgerald provided me with a much welcomed escape.

Heathrow is not an airport to be enjoyed. The mammoth structure of terminals is too spartan to exude any sense of creature comfort. I was relieved when I was finally able to walk out in the cloudy English sky. The series of meetings I was to attend was held in a business hotel not far from the airport. I stood patiently waiting for the shuttle bus to take me to my final destination with a group of worn-out travelers, one of which stood right next to me, totally oblivious to my presence. From behind my foggy eyes I took notice of her deep blue ones, of her elegant stance, of her small body, of her proud breasts, of her curved butt, of her shapely legs, of her manicured toes but most appreciably of her sculptured hands.

Normally, any man in my position would notice and appreciate these minute details. But when a single woman is endowed with them all the perception turns into a sort of passion of such a nature that it feeds upon itself. I just had to keep looking. Oh My God, she is gorgeous. There is no way on earth that such a tranquil beauty is not matched by a splendid and formidable mind, I thought. I went even further in my private musing; this woman must be a poet, an actress, a novelist, an artist of a sort, a … doctor?

A hematologist she turned out to be. We checked in together, a different clerk handling each. "Welcome Dr. McDonald", I heard hers say. For the first time since my twenty minutes journey with the most gorgeous doctor in the world started, she glanced in my direction. "And you’re here for the Shipping Meeting Mr.…. Abufares", my clerk smartly yet unnecessarily announced. Oh, damn it, I cursed under my breath. There she was, a specialist in the disorders of the blood no less, attending a conference with internationally distinguished specialists from all four corners of the globe while I was to spend the next two days with a bunch of ex-seamen turned penguins in business suits. I didn’t mind the washed out sailors. As a matter of fact, they were the jolly lot in the group. What I dreaded most were the business suits who had never wetted their feet.

We walked together to the elevator, the good doctor and I. Like the true gentleman I wanted her to believe me to be I gave her way first. "Thanks", she said. Her voice sounding more like little birds giggling and making love than an ordinary human voice. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her hands all the way up. I mean, there I was, in a six by four confined space with a woman that defied description and all I could stare at were her hands. She must’ve thought that I was the timid and shy type. She wouldn’t believe that despite her astonishing beauty I chose to be infatuated with her hands. We emerged from the elevator and headed in the same direction. The corridor stretched on and on forever. I was walking a step behind and her butt swayed left and right with perfect rhythm. No, she was not joggling nor jiggling. Her butt was merely quivering under the comfortable khaki cotton pants. She then came to a stop in front of her room door and I did the same in front of mine. They were across from each other, our doors, our rooms. I fumbled with my plastic key as she did with hers. She dropped hers on the floor as I dropped mine. We bent to pick them up and we couldn’t keep the insouciant fa├žade any longer as we both burst out laughing. She was one second faster than me in opening her door and as she disappeared with her bag behind it our eyes met then... The last I saw of her was the crimson polish on her nails… on her pulchritudinous hand.

I showered under a stream of deliciously hot water. The fluent spray fingered my neck and shoulders, the small of my back, my thighs and legs like a pair of expert hands, Doctor McDonald’s own hands. I closed my eyes and surrendered to the tantalizingly arousing reverie. Only if we humans were truly transparent, I reflected. How different the world would have been if our emotions and feelings were extraneously projected for all to see. I tossed and turned in bed as I always do on my first night in a new one. The mattress engulfed my body like a warm womb while the pillows swallowed my head with comfort and delight, yet I could not sleep. The two hour time difference didn’t help either and no sooner than I had a shut eye than the clock brought me to tomorrow.

She came in as I was having breakfast. She was dressed in a stunning suit that made her unreachably good-looking. From the distance, I was fascinated with her calves. They were white and slender and led to her unbelievably attractive feet. I could glimpse her pedicured toes while my scrambled eggs waited then got cold in my plate. She sat not far but she obviously hadn’t seen me. I watched her nibble her fruits of the morning and drink her milk. Oh, how she drank her milk. Then as graciously as she walked in she stood up and left the room. I fumbled with my napkin, fork and knife but was already too late.

The morning session dragged on and on. I struggled to keep my eyes open, I resisted with all my force a complete brain shut down until with the mercy of God we were granted a 15 minute break. I didn’t want to leave the meeting room at first but then decided to step out and have a change of scenery. Coffee and cakes were served near the entrance and next to the shipping throng there stood a group of well dressed hematologists, mostly men, peppered with the presence of a few stylish women. My doctor stood on the side speaking to a colleague, smiling ever so mystifyingly and holding a cup of something in her hand. I walked toward her as if drawn by a magnet. I only wanted her to see me walking toward her and she did. I can smile mysteriously as well I wanted her to read in my eyes and I was egotistic enough to believe that she did.

The rest of the day ate me alive. I was burning to get out of the room. There was an enclosed swimming pool I noticed earlier with an open bar. I went craving a glass of Scotch on the Rocks but there at a corner table she sat alone. She had already changed into something more comfortable yet no less tasteful. She saw me all the way from afar this time and didn’t even attempt to hide her smile. I was a few feet away when she said at last: “You know I have seen more of you since WE got here than I saw any of my colleagues in the conference.” “Did you see the guys I’m spending my time with?” I asked. “I‘d better keep running into you or I will lose my mind.” She extended her hand smiling: “I’m Fenella McDonald,” she said, “and you are Captain …?” “Hands”, I replied, “Abufares I mean.” I held her hand in mine and thought of distances stretched across thousands and thousands of miles, erased, nullified, annihilated by a mere touch.

Would you care to join me,” she asked. I did and the gloomy weather of London turned out to be much more bearable after all.


3aber sabeel said…
A very honest question:
Does your wife read your adventurous stories you write on here? You are in big trouble my dear friend!
Great read though ;)
The Syrian Brit said…
Delightful, as usual, Abu Fares..
I am intrigued... Was this a recent trip to London?.. and if so.... HOW COME YOU DID NOT TRY TO CONTACT ME??...
I have had a week off recently, and it would have been a perfect opportunity to welcome you to our humble abode, and show you a part of England that not many of our visiting compatriots have seen...
And you're right.. Heathrow is an ugly place...
Gabriela said…
Fenella... I've never heard that name before, and I think it has a nice sound.
Is this a recent episode?
Dubai Jazz said…
that was a very warm and well-told story, Abu Fares. Man, you're the ultimate story teller, no one could grab the collective attention of us your readers that effectively like you do.

p.s. you should expound more on your epilouges ;)

p.p.s what were you wearing to the indoor pool with the open bar? ;)
Abu Steif said…
As usual your writing style is absolutely addictive. Once I started reading I wondered in your mind because I know you very well. Like "DJ" said you're the ultimate story teller and I agree with him.
Fantasia said…
…and of course in my mind … I finish the story … in my own style! What fun!
Hands are a most fascinating adjunct. I always love a man with well groomed hands. I also love the way some people talk with them, fluttering like butterflies or punctuation points for their spoken words.
Very fine read my friend. Eloquent and addictive … a pleasure as always.
Anonymous said…
Omfares must be the most self assured woman of this Earth!

w.b. yeats
Fantasia said…
@ w.b, yeats and 3aber sabeel,
When a man (or woman) stops looking they are dead... or dishonest with themself. I admire Abufares for being honest with himself - and us. There is trust there. Omfares has less to worry from a man that is honest than the one that remains silent and secretive.
Anonymous said…
@ Fantasia,
As you do not know me personally you are assuming too much. I've known Abufares a long time, and he knows i'm only kidding. And, I know exactly what kind of man Abufares is, true, honest, funny, intelligent and he can take all the irony and jest I send him!

w. b. yeats
Fantasia said…
@ w.b. yeats, Interesting reaction, that you chose offence where there was none meant. The quote "I do believe she protests too much" comes to mind. But I digress. I would never presume to know you - but there is a singular approach or pattern to your comments across this entire blog. If I may, you do not know me either. Otherwise you would know that I do not judge, and that my comment was merely a general one - not aimed at you on a personal level or Abufares - merely a statement, or musing of what your own words triggered in my mind. After all, that is what blogs are for. Open exchange and with luck - a little inspiration. I know Abufares well enough to agree with all your labels for him and would add many more to the list, including sensual and open minded.
KJ said…
Ditto, DJ!
Abufares said…
@2aber sabeel
Like any other man out there, I... one of the following:

1- Love women
2- Love men
3- Love men and women
4- Love no one

My wife must be very lucky that I'm Number 1.
Abufares said…
@Syrian Brit
What can I say my friend. These business trips are catching up with me. I'm going all over but in the end I'm not really going anywhere. I was in London for 4 nights but I only had Saturday afternoon free. I actually wrote this post, fell asleep then came back the next day.
Hopefully, there will be another visit to the UK and when I do come I'll plan it ahead of time and make sure we get together.
Abufares said…
Well of course Fenella is not her real name. I just love "Fenella" so much and that's why I chose it.
However, it might be interesting to note that Dr. McDonald's real name is even more beautiful.
i just returned home from London very late last night.
Abufares said…
@Dubai Jazz
Thank you for appreciating my stories my friend.
p.s. Next time, I'll expand more, lol

p.p.s. I was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts... Nah, just kidding, I was still in my suit and tie. But later on I took them off one by one... the tie and the jacket that is.
Abufares said…
@Habibi Abu Steif
I'm so happy you came here my friend. Well, you do know my mind real well. There are only beautiful things floating around in there and I'm so happy I'm able to share (some of)them with you.
Abufares said…
I love it when you jump to my defense like that, I really do:-)
So you love a man with well groomed hands... Ummm, well sadly I don't fit into this category as mine have the wear and tear of time on them. However, it might be of interest to know that I've been told that they are very sexy, lol.
Nobody can finish this story better than you can... and you'll be doing all of us a great favor if you do ;-)
Thank you for being here and for describing me with such beautiful words... sensual in particular made me blush (not at all with embarrassment I might add).
Abufares said…
@w.b. yeats (my favorite trouble maker)
First, I need to make it clear that I know how much you like to tease me and that you only wanted to get my passionate reaction.
The thing is I can only reply seriously because you raise a very interesting and important issue.
You are a "married" artist, a painter with a great talent, and you do use your medium to express your inner feelings, thoughts, longings, hopes and despairs beautifully. A poet can also do that without stirring much controversy using what she's best at: imagery, symbolism and myth. I can only express myself acceptably with words in the form of prose and the fact that I am "married" becomes more of an issue because writing is in a way so easy to interpret and understand by everyone. My appreciation for women is nothing I will ever attempt to hide. The joy evoked by not the joggling, not the jiggling but the quivering of Fenella's butt is only too real. I can keep it inside and never mention it of course but I was not wired liked that.
This blog of mine dances on the edge of the personal at times. I post recipes as well and talk dirty politics every once in a while. Had I been a painter I would've spent the next 2 months painting Fenella in a most exquisite way. She is so perfectly beautiful yet I have but mere words to express my fascination with her.
My wife didn't marry a dead man. This is how I was, how I am and how I will always be. She must be self assured. Any woman should be that regardless of the man in her life. She must worry when I start skulking like a shadow of a man. Luckily for her, I would never allow myself to be that.
But you knew that all along and still love to tease:-)
Abufares said…
What can I say to that Ditto, DJ of yours. Come on, you could've said a few more words.
Why don't you tell us about the latest BUTT that affected you. Or could it be that it was so perfect it rendered you speechless?
Abufares said…
@w.b. yeats

I just found a way to get back at you.

The fact that it bothers you that I'm not too "uxorious" to your taste only goes to prove that you are overly "maritorious".

Ah, the power of words :-)
Anonymous said…
Well, I what ever I am, I am mostly honest, and even in my "maritorious" mind and without any jest I think on any healthy marriage both partners must be very selfassured that they are loved equally. And, that my good friend was the only thing I ment. Omfares, loves you and is selfassured that you love her back. And the comment was triggered after reading 3abber sabbel's comment, which is the reaction you got from your blogg. Ah?

If I answerd Fantasia, was solely because she grouped me with your friend 3abber sabbel that said you "were in so much trouble". The problem with the written word is that it can be taken very literally sometimes. If you do not know the mood in which it was written, it can be taken in many different ways. I believe Fantasia and I have this problem. Maybe is the translation from a different language to English, maybe it is just our very different personal styles. In any case, because you know me, you probably understand my meaning in a more ascertained manner... I hope.

The muse for ones artistic vein always comes in the most surprising moments.

Love U,

w.b. yeats

PS. And, it does not bother me that you say you are not too "uxorious" or that you think that I am overly "maritorious"... Who ever thinks of this "words"?!
Mariyah said…
Abu Fares, your passion, sensuality, and love of women is a distinct part of who you are. And when you can combine this passion with your incredible writing...there is nothing more intoxicating to read, my friend. One never knows one will find on your blog...part of its charm...but we can always be assured that it will be beautifully delivered and deliciously YOU!
Abufares said…
@w.b. yeats
You have always been one of the most honest people I ever met.
But I got you with these 2 stupid words didn't I???

w.b. yeats is maritorious, nana nanana...
Abufares said…
You see, in essence, you are a major reason why I love "women".
I mean your character, your allure, your passion and sensuality, your eloquence, your placidity, your yearning and longing, your detachment and aloofness... the hunger and satisfaction in your words... in your eyes (as far as I'm concerned)force me to believe that a man needs to be in love with more than one woman to be able, for instance, to love you.

It's exactly these ultra feminine traits that make a simple man like me fall in love with WOMEN.
Fantasia said…
"...She had always found that the men in her life only liked one of her many personas; a handful at best. She could one moment be a child in need of a father to look after her, the next a strong, powerful, independent woman followed moments later by one who was gentle and caring only to change into the dominant woman that pins her man to the bed, biting and scratching her unsuspecting pray. It was never an act or roll playing; she really was all these women. He loved it. Genuinely loved "them" all and rolled with the waves, laughing with her all the way. He thrived on her unpredictability and she desperately needed him to be free … to be herself. He was her freedom." - Abufares - when I wrote that story for you - what you just wrote so poetically to Mariyah - was precisely what I was referring to. You need to Love all women in order to truly love one woman…. You understand and live that so well.
Abufares said…
What can I say to that?
I'm usually the verbose type, on my blog at least (IRL, I listen more than I talk).
You summed up in very simple terminology what the essence of a man's passion is. He wants a woman that is all women in one.

A man needs a woman who is his anchor and his sail. That's all a man could ever dream of.
Dubai Jazz said…
A man needs a woman who is his anchor and his sail..
I like the anchor analogy.
Was it an innuendo?

*dirty mind mode on*
Anonymous said…
Disciple of Momus!



I think you will enjoy all the words in this site
: )

w.b. yeats
Abufares said…

Not this time my friend.
An anchor is the pivoting point for a ship, Without which, she will go astray.
A sail will carry the same ship to oceans of fancy and enchantment. Without which, a ship is but a piece of junk.
Such is a man.
Abufares said…
@w.b. yeats

Great Link. Thanks:-)
Anonymous said…
Hands,and Hands!

Anonymous said…
Beautifully written.
"The men in ties that never got their feet wet" lool such a costal man.. must be appreciated!
Abufares said…
@Batoul Abaza
Thank you for dropping by.
It is indeed our way, coastal men, to get back at the landlocked (and mindlocked) Damascenes, Aleppines and Homsis.
Well in all fairness and as far as this post is concerned I was the only Syrian attending. I found out, however, that men in suits, regardless of their nationality get on my nerves.

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