Friday, October 08, 2010

Matar

My hair, too short to be ruffled by the wind and covered with a Barmah hat stood on end. A gust fondled the sleeves of my shirt awakening a maudlin pain inside. It meandered through my joints, traveled in my body then tingled my fingers and my toes. I took a long breath and heaved, slipping a heavy weight off my shoulders. I could feel it in my bones. Matar, precious rain, was near.

Driftwood cracked in a bonfire and wept. Flames tongued upward and ambled with fatal seduction. Sparks exploded and evanesced in the dark. A transient cloud veiled my beautiful Thuraya, the Pleiades, before she twinkled again for my eyes only. The lights of anchored ships beyond the breakwater flickered with the rising surf. A long whistle wailed with anguish then died.

We clinked our glasses and drank a toast, “To Summer. May it rest in peace.” The night was young and the Arak abound in the company of lifelong friends. We drank the time away then drifted apart. Echoes of their laughter chased my crocked steps as I hurried to shelter.

I could hear the abdominal rumble of the sky. It reverberated with murmurs of distant thunder. A branch on a tree nearby creaked. Fallen leaves swirled. Two cats hissed menacingly in the cone of a streetlight. A dog barked from somewhere behind. The first drops of rain fizzled then assailed the empty streets. I ran in the night, leapfrogging standing pools, stopping briefly under the awnings of closed stores to catch my breath then darting again. It rained long and hard till morning and beyond.

It's fall, the season for a fifty year old man to feel at home. As the sun peeked shyly through the overcast sky I fetched my brown jacket with the threadbare elbow patches and my corduroy pants. I still don't need reading glasses, I prided myself, then I held my book under my arm and wandered into the park. It's my time at last.

12 comments:

Gabriela said...

Wow! You are back, Abufares.
I must confess the title puzzled me. In Spanish, matar means "to kill". But after reading the post, this is about life and celebration of life.
Great piece.

Isobel said...

What a beautiful piece of writing, Abufares. I am sure that after a long, hot summer, the rains are a godsend. I quite enjoy the summer rains here, probably similar to your fall ones. But the chilling dampness of fall rains here, keep me inside. And yes, what does matar mean? Thanks, Abufares, for gracing the blogshere with your writing.

BIL said...

Abufares,
This one is really good! I had to re-read it to get the full meaning. Yes, a new season is upon us and the refreshing rains are on the way. After living in your climate for the past months, I never thought a good down pour is something that is fondly anticipated. I sense the Arak was as young as the night just waiting to be aged (not) and the sound of your glasses must have brought joy and enabled a conversation that can only be in full understanding with that special “enhancement” one glass after the next<;-) For a young man is only a natural part of growing up. So, my young friend, welcome to the golden age and the new season. BIL

KJ said...

Beautiful as always abufares. I am looking forward for the rain when it eventually arrives here...

david santos said...

Great, my friend, great!
congratulations! have a nice week.

abufares said...

@Gabriela
Matar means Rain in Arabic.
It's also a given name for men, a rare one for sure. It's a name I like a lot mainly because of my love for the rain.
Glad you liked it dear friend. Always an immense pleasure to see you here.
And again congratulations to Peru and to you about Mario Vargas Llosa winning the Nobel Prize. I have to admit that I have never read Mr Vargas Llosa but I look forward to it.

abufares said...

@Isobel
Thank you for gracing my blog with your charming presence. There are a couple of beautiful bloggers (writers) that I'm totally at a loss of word when I attempt to describe their writing: and you are one of them :-)

abufares said...

@BIL
Oh what a compliment to be called a young man again, lolll.
The night was as a perfect as it could get.
You know that I lived in the US for an extended period of time in a state where rain, lots of it, is a fact of life. I never grew sick of it to the surprise of friends and colleagues who always wondered at my high spirits once the sky turned dark gray and the rain started falling.
I had my perfect moment of revelation on a late September night when I was swimming near Galveston, Tx and it poured with the hardest rain I've ever experienced before or since.

abufares said...

@KJ

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.

Rain by Shel Silverstein

abufares said...

@David Santos
Você foi perdido aqui, meu amigo. Tão contente de vê-lo novamente.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Sometimes I envy how seasonal changes abound everywhere except here... Lovely piece, my friend.

I must say, though, that it came just after it FINALLY stopped raining in Ponce and I'm so happy that the rain left towards Damascus! I could have not handle one more day of it. Everything completely humid. 3 Dogs, large 80 lbs. ones, inside all day driving me nuts. Water leaks in my studio. Patio all muddy. Electricity on and off. Rivers out of their course. People in shelters. Boy, am I glad the sun is back!

Hurricane season. The only seasonal change that I get to experience, is no fun.

PS. I already need reading glasses... at 46...

Luv always,
w.b. yeats

abufares said...

@w.b. yeats
I agree.
I think I'll get bored stiff without the 4 seasonal changes we're lucky to have here in the Levant. I must admit though that both Fall and Spring are getting shorter due to global weather shifts.
Still, I would rather live in a place where the rain never stops than in the heat of the desert for instance.
Fall is my favorite season. I love the rain, the cooler days and colder nights, the colors of trees and the smell of the earth.