Driving down an open road
There was snow on the side and the sparkling sea below
We marvelled at the possibility of snow in July,
It was fluffy and new, and the blue water cast a marvellous view
I woke reluctantly, not wanting to leave you behind,
Still amazed by the beauty I saw
In the eye of my mind.
- Shatha Hamdan
I wrote this piece when my mom offered me a voice dubbing job on a weekend I was sick in. I had a rehearsal that day for a fairly big play, a production with one of our local theatre directors.
Later on during the day I was sucked into the director’s conclusion that I was, to an extent, one of the worst actors ever; That I am cold.
His words were subtle and blunt, sharper than a butcher’s knife, and I could feel the wounds as his teeth shattered through his rants digging their way beneath my skin searching for a stiffened heart at the time to cut what seemed to be the frozen chords of an immaculate machine.
"You’re cold" he said. But in my mind I did not seek for a better comeback, nor did I hold a tear back from falling to the ground, simply because I wanted the conversation to finish.
Instead, my inner voice of a true character started screaming improvised lines of defence, I said, “Sir, we used to play on those rough playgrounds wishing for nothing but to be picked a little earlier than last; tricked into thinking we were good enough to make a team.
"And whenever the ball decided to fly its way into what we thought of as a different realm far away from the school’s walls they used to pick me to go fetch the ball, and I was good at finding them, sir.
"But then when it was time to return, I used to always come to the realization that my team mates had grown about six to ten centimetres taller, and that each one had prepared a full moustache - making them much more desirable for the next game.
"I am cold, sir? What do you know about falling to pieces and being glued back together, like the very first rough draft of cubism? Tell me more about curly hair and thick reading glasses in a world ruled by perfectionists and materialistic sons of bitches, sir they mocked us all. For not being good enough to make a team in the summer because it was too hot and we were drowned by our own sweat, maybe I’m still the boy trying to fit in, trying to make my way through the lands of silent beauty filled with thorns and dried tree leaves.
- Nairuz Al Ajlouni
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