August wears me down. It always had. It always will. This year I have been dreading the month long before it knocked on my door.
It's not often that I'm home alone. But in a time when everybody needs a little vacation I had no option but to stay behind. Kids, more so than the rest of us, must grow up loving August. There would come the day eventually when the burdens of life will make them change their minds. The telephone cried in the quiet room.
-Heard you're alone!
-What do you say we share a drink and be alone together...
I picked a shirt in the dark, slipped into a pair of jeans then drove toward the sea. I rolled the windows down and opened the sunroof. No air was coming in. Tartous closed on me as the whole world was too tight around the neck. There was a long line of parked cars on the boulevard as I brought mine into an empty spot. What were they thinking about, these ungodly machines? I stepped down, pushing a button on the key chain and crossed the street pweep, pweep into heavy silence.
Underneath the 900 years old vaulted ceiling men and women sat behind tables. Oblivious to being, they stared at walls, imaginary and real. What makes us believe we're that different from the cars parked outside? Waiting, isn't that what we're all doing?
In desperation we draw the last card, the company of others. We hugged, tapped shoulders then slumped into padded chairs, men tired of the long summer.
Ah my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
Today of past Regrets and future Fears:
Tomorrow! Why, tomorrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n thousand Years.*
The bleak day turned brighter with the flow of the amber Scotch. My heart sighed while the welcomed numbness took over. My thirsty soul gasped with glee. Talk followed echoing through the valleys of the minds. I fancied a Scottish fairy tiptoeing toward me. She came to a stop and knelt by my side, took my hand in hers, kissed the tip of my fingers then brought the back of my hand to her cheek and whispered in my ear, you'll be alright my...
The chagrined notes of a solitary Oud drifted in the air then a sweet voice rose from the dungeons of a tormented soul. My fairy smiled down at me, repressing a solitary tear at the corner of each eye. She ruffled my short hair then vanished in thin air.
Gayyeen li'ddunia ma na'raf leh
wla rayheen fen wala Ayzeen eh
Mashaweer marsouma l'khatawina
Nimshiha b'ghorbet layalina
Yom Tifarrahna wi yom tigrahna
W'ehna wala ehna arfeen leh
W'zayeh ma guina.. guina
W'mesh b'edena guina**
We came... we don't know why
Where we're going to or what for
Paths drawn for our feet to tread
We follow them estranged in the dark of night
Paths of joy one day then of deep hurt tomorrow
We still don't know why
But we came
We never chose to but anyway we came
-Come on man … don't lose me.
*From Rubaiyat Omar Khayyam (1048-1123), translation by Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883)
** Min Gher Leh Mohamad Abdul Wahab (1907-1991), performed by Taher Mustafa
Dowload Min Gheir Leh