A Morning Page in the Evening

Tonight is nothing special. I just happen to be in bed at a very early time “in artsy standards”. My sister Malak, who is a medical doctor, and I, once agreed that artists times and doctors times are completely different. Where a doctor’s morning might start at 6 a.m., an artist’s morning might start at noon or at 2 p.m. at the very best. Rambling like this is not a good sign for a writer, mind you. It is an indicator of a clouded mind. And I know there has been lots of unwritten things happening inside my head. I think of the material, I jot it down mentally, done. And I never get it out on paper or even here. No good.

The music in my ears enforces my heart’s feeling that everything is okay, life is beautiful, and tomorrow is another day. But my mind, my sick mind, wants to stay awake waiting for a phone call or an email that might not come before morning anyway. My beloved Teta, bless her soul, once wrote an article about life saying that Life is Waiting. Now whenever I wait for something I directly remember sitto. Although she and I disagreed about lots of things, sometimes had arguments, but we were really close. She and I are the ones who love Ghazzeh most. In 2006, I went up with teta & jiddo and was their spoiled guest when the war started. Last summer in 2011 when many of my friends visited from abroad, teta made lunch or dinner for them and welcomed them like she welcomes us or even better. Even though she doesn’t speak more than basic English, she made sure that everything was “gooood.” And she later told me she is welcoming all these people because they are MY friends. She said, this is all for you.

When we were young and, now I realize, possibly silly kids, teta would always sit us down and tell us stories. I was fascinated with her Tarzan stories. Sometimes when she forgot she’d just improvise and keep narrating. And then next time when she repeats things we’d recognize them and say, “No! That happened yesterday!” And whenever we memorized new songs or poems at school, she’d be the FIRST one we rush to recite the songs to. I would stand in front of her, hands behind my back like in front of a teacher, and recite in the best fashion possible. And she would give me a 250L.L. or whatever was enough for me to buy candy from the store downstairs.

And teta and I always discussed books. We both loved reading very much. We often played Arabic Scrabble in the afternoons and evenings. Teta played basketball with the little ones when we refused to let them play with us or when they had nobody to play with. She sewed the five wedding dresses for my sisters and checked every minute detail in them. Sometime soon, it will be one year since she went away and left us to the unknown where we’re all going. Hearts are a curse sometimes. What do you do when you miss someone so much and you know you’re never going to see them ever again?