I have no other choice.
I Have to find a way out. I ride in the car for hours searching for a solution. Nothing.To cry at this point would be a total waste of time. Tears will not bring him back.
No. I have to find a solution.
I am no longer living a story.
This realization shocks me and leaves me numb for hours. All my life I have lived stories. I cannot survive outside the virtual walls of stories. I become anxious. I start to notice people around me.
I sense their motives and I can see their ugly sides.
No. I need a story. Fast.
Reality is too acute for me.
I keep going in circles for days. Mum makes me egg sandwiches and i eat them absent-minded whilst driving for hours in the car.
I choose the Jdeideh area. Heaven knows why. And I move from one street to the other. I eat the sandwiches and I drive.
It is 2004 and I have just gotten out of a love story.
I am in my early thirties and people around me want me to get married yesterday.
And I have just gotten out of yet another love story.
And suddenly I can see the people in my life for who they are and I don't think i can handle it.
I need a story.
I catch a glimpse of a large bookstore. I put the egg sandwich aside and i park the car next to one display window. I have some money so i might as well indulge in a shopping spree.
It is 2004 and shopping for me is equivalent to books and pens and notebooks.
Once inside the huge store I glance on the left side and i see colors. hundreds and hundreds of paint tubes and canvas and coloring pencils.
The books and pens and notebooks can wait.
I vaguely remember that at nineteen, when we first moved from Cyprus to Beirut, I took to coloring and drawing silly figures to pass the time and get over my home sickness for Cyprus where I had grown up.
My feet take me to those endless colorful stands and I slowly, deliberately start to pick coloring tubes and brushes and different shapes of canvas.
Once home, I lock myself in my room and I savagely, ferociously start to mix the colors on the canvas. I sit on the carpet and I swing the canvas on the legs of a chair and hours pass and I am throwing my anger and disappointment on the canvas.
I am in my own world, lamenting through colors about the fact that I am no longer living a story.
Then I look up from my thoughts, and the shocking colors I have thrown on the canvas stare back at me defiantly.
And then days pass, and as soon as i finish writing my articles in the newspaper I head back to the bookstore picking up my art provision, and once home i lock myself in my room and i surrender to the shapes and colors and i dance to the rhythm of the brushes.
I am not a professional so I mix different styles together without knowing what i am doing.
But somehow it seems to work.
I almost forget that i am not living a love story.
I finish canvas after the other, and once they dry, i hide them in my closets. And to reward myself, I go for long rides in the car listening to music. I choose the nights for my rides and the afternoons for my color mixing.
The mornings are for the Arabic language in the newspaper.
One night during my habitual long ride, I find a stray dog sitting quietly on a pavement in the industrial area of Jdeideh. I give him what is left of my egg sandwich.
He eats it happily.
I come back the next night and there he is. This time I give him my whole sandwich. He wolves it down in seconds.
Then one night i find him hanging out with some more stray dogs.
Well, I guess mum must make more sandwiches.
I write, I mix colors, I feed the stray dogs who have become my night companions...and even though I have a less than average voice, one night i accompany a singer on my radio whilst doing my evening ride.
The next day I decide to take singing lessons...
Days later, I am in my first singing lesson with Peter,( who has since became a close friend).
I am choking on my tears whilst trying to nail my first song-The Girl From Ipanema- Peter does not understand why I am crying. "I am not living a story", i answer midst my heavy tears.
He stares at me in shock.
More weeks pass.
I write, I mix colors, I feed the stray dogs, I sing.
And then One morning as i am drinking coffee with mum, I suddenly stand up, go to my room, fetch a small notebook and pen, then once back in the living room with mum, I start to write my first diary entry.
Even more weeks pass.
I write my articles, I mix colors on my canvas, I feed my stray furry friends, I sing with Peter who is by now accustomed to my tears, I write diary entry after another.
Then I get a phone call.
My old actor friend.
He invites me over to his place for coffee. we gossip for hours. I keep on returning to his house day after night, midst all the activities I am now religiously pursuing.
"Can I cook tomorrow when I come over?" I ask him one day.
More and more weeks pass.
I write my articles at work as though they were masterpieces, I mix shapes and colors on Canvas in such a ferocious way that even my parents are amazed at the results, I feed tens and tens of stray dogs who have by now become my family, I sing with a newly found confidence I never knew existed in me, I write so many feelings out in my diary entries, that somehow it seems I no longer need any tears...
and at Nazha's place I cook meal after meal, and i play it by ear, mixing ingredients with the same wonder present when I mix colors.
And by George do we gossip!
A whole year passes.
I pursue those activities on a daily basis. All of them.
I have stopped crying.
I am no longer fretting outside the realms of a story...because By George!... I AM LIVING ONE!
يلفت موقع النهار الإلكتروني إلى أنّه ليس مسؤولًا عن التعليقات التي ترده ويأمل من القرّاء الكرام الحفاظ على احترام الأصول واللياقات في التعبير.