That Year

15 كانون الأول 2015 | 00:00

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.

Weeks pass.

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!

ما رأيكم بتحضير هذه الحلوى العراقية بمكوّنات بسيطة مع المدونة ديما الأسدي؟

إظهار التعليقات

يلفت موقع النهار الإلكتروني إلى أنّه ليس مسؤولًا عن التعليقات التي ترده ويأمل من القرّاء الكرام الحفاظ على احترام الأصول واللياقات في التعبير.

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