25 Feb 2008

BLUE HOUSE

'I hope the exit is joyful-- and I hope never to return.' Frida .

And 'Burn it blue' keeps playing. The same song over and over again. Saying nothing but the wordless feelings that were enclosed in this very first gift of his. He did the wonders to offer it and now, like everything we shared, becomes a symbol of something. Encouraging nothing but an exit.

And 'I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality', and I never lived with you my dreams. I lived with you my own reality. As I dreamt them. As I felt them. Offering you the captured ancient feelings that never left but only lived freely and painfully between my souls. Encouraged by nothing but an exit.

But the night sky blooms with fire
And the burning bed floats higher
And she's free to fly

Woman so weary
Spread your broken wings
Fly free as the swallow sings
Come to the firework
See the dark lady smiles
She burns

23 Feb 2008

GYM [H];

I have been going to the gym lately. It has been fun. I do not like the site of tons of machines standing like Romel's army but I get used to it. I block the scene and choose some place near the window to see the bedroom infront of me. Well, it might have not been the best choice gym to go to, but it was here in Zamalek and I thought why not. My problem with it, beside being a gym, is that there is no scenery that I could look at. I at times feel suffocated from the boarders all around me. Tons of walls. Small little windows. I just need to widen my sight. My membership will expire in 8 months! Almost there. Will switch to the other one suppositely.

I do not go bananas on the equipment. I just do the TM and EFX. DO some stretching and leave. At one point I would do the equipments for arms..etc, but now I just do that. Every single time I go, the trainer would come and ask me if I am in the 'program.' and i answer NO. 'Did dr. Hany see you?'. 'NO, and I dont want to.' I answered. I guess I am not clear enough because the guy or the girl trainer will keep standing looking to me. And I just do not really know what to do. Feel a bit conscious about what to do next. I do not really want to turn my face while they are looking at me, and more important, I do not want them to see what I am doing. I just mumble and look away. Now after many attempts, I just go there and do not make any eye contact at all. Just wish them to leave me alone and stop watching like gustapo. I always tell myself, 'you know guys, you can work out too instead of looking so bored and endlessly watching the multichannels hanging there.' I thank God I do not have one of these jobs where I just stand or sit doing nothing other than trying to serve others.

Last time I went I walked to the gym. I discovered a little gateaway, shortcut between the streets! I was so excited. An amazing little deserted side street, no cars pass through, but connects between Ahmed 3asem. It has a couple of old villas and an embassy. A beautiful villa where the lady was putting out her old old old carpet that looked beautiful to me. I thought, what if someone stole it. What if I stole it! I wont be able to run away actually. But it was a great place. A little alley I would call it. I was happy with the discovery actually.

I went to the gym, and took elevator up. In there stood a girl with her ipod listening to music while raising the volume of the earphones to the max. Some weird music. Her hair was half dyed in light yellow. Had this look on her face (dont know what look but a look while half opening her mouth). I looked couple of times to her for some reason (I am not sure why though), something intrigued me there. Maybe the way she was standing half straight, or maybe the look she had, or maybe the music was too loud for an elevator. Anyways, I left and went to the TM. I was working out when I saw her coming dressed in her workout outfit.

She wore a short trouser that was so tight that got me looking especially that she was not slim at the thighs and back area! A light grey very tight shirt with extremely short sleeves. A workout underwear that did not hold up to the sizes that much that she had to adjust every now and then. The ipod. A spadree with no socks. Blackish towel. She looked to me and came right to the machine next to me. I said, ' what the heck! Oh this is not my day.'

It is not that I keep watching people when in private space, no I swear I dont. In public space yes, maybe! But it is just that I do not like my entourage to be disturbed. She stood next to me and she started the TM. I thought, 'she would just walk for 5 min and then leave'. God I was wrong. She started and I could hear 'TAkh takh teekh Deb deb da douu' on the trade mill. The god bless her girl was running on speed 12 for 30 minutes while comfortably adjusting her thingys all the time, stretching her shirt while hitting the machine so much when her weight drops so hard. Her hands were raised up and doing this movement as if she was bionic woman. Sweat started to jump all around. Music very loud. I did not look directly to her, but I could see her with the corner of my eye and I sneak a peak every now and then. I thought to myself, 'What is that all about? Why all the noise that you created! Can not you just play in peace.'

Well, I finished my TM 5 minutes before her. To my surprised, and I am sure I was hypnosed, I did not go to the next machine instead confidently chose to do my stretching between my machine and hers. Perfectly located under her machine, with a priviliged front seat view. I really do not know why I did that. Was I curious? I do not know!

I stretched while looking and examining her. Wondering how can she do that running for so long. What is fitness really all about? How can she wear a shoes without a socks when she knows she will be running? What about the sweat! The smell! Who is she? What is with the black towel she was rotating around her neck? Does she leave her gym wear in the closet? Where does she live? Why is she here? Is she lonely? What's up with raising the music so loud? Why did not she make any eye-contact at all? She looks serious about what she is doing, what is her motivation? And more importantly, why am i here staring at her ass!!!

Very inappropriate. After all I was the one behaving weird. But one thing remains, why was I so intrigued like that?

22 Feb 2008

RIYHAN

The feeling of distress and the urge to talk and share have been drilling into me. How can one bear a life without deep sharing? It is almost impossible. Maybe it is just that not everyone has something to share or even care about finding if he has anything. What is better than just living and eating and that's about it. Sink oneself in day-to-day activities and just survive. And most people just do that. No worries. Just depriving oneself from speaking up; manage to block out anything they feel; transform themseleves to robots and machines.

Well, it is easier that way.

And it is easier for me the other way. To feel and allow myself to be triggered, to talk and share, and express and wonder between me and myself what is happening. I am not dead and I want to enjoy as much as I want to suffer. But this is me.

I woke up early. Weather was nice. Sunny. Blue sky. I took my book and went to drink hot choclate. Picked my usual spot near the window and sat there. It was still so quiet and traffic was slow. I read beautiful pieces in the book that has been causing me a lot of depression but I enjoy the very word of it. It is almost me writing this book. Even my friend N. and A. said that I wrote like her and there are similarities. Well, I am not virginia wolf but I might be this one. Closer to me. I can feel that.

I finished my drink, and decided to go for a walk. For some weird reason, I just found myself remembering vividly my time when I was 12-16 years old. What a complicated and hard time!! My friends? What I was like? Who I was at that time really? My thoughts and confusion? What I was feeling? Tons of memories kept crawling vigrously to my mind. I even wrote all these in my head. I kept walking for almost an hour with stories and analysis popping in my head. My lips talking and narrating sometimes aloud, other inside. It was amazing. I was surprised. What triggered all that was a sentence I wrote today in my diary with my blue ink pen: 'I guess I have been secretive all my life.' And yes I am. Luckily or sadly. I have always been.

In the midst of that, a friend called. I found myself agreeing to meet and go for a walk and brunch in zamalek. I was for a moment juggling with the feeling to go home write, or go along with him. I chose the later. I guess I needed to talk or listen to something.

We went for a walk in the right side of zamalek. Passed by a furniture store which I like. I was browsing for furniture for my apartment although I know we are not sure how we would want it, and maybe still not a priority now. But i like to see ideas and maybe when he comes back we can talk about it.

Anyways, we went to the italian restaurant, ordered and ate. I was like a machine I suppose. He was super nice and very accomodating but I just listened to the talks and tried to be nice. Nodding and talking. Listening. Trying to make the company light and enjoyable. After we were done, we passed by the supermarket close by. I got bread and cheese then walked back and I went home.

But there was something missing. In me not in anyone else. I was disconnected. Spaced out. I guess the terrible missing was haunting me. In the streets, the food, the supermarket, there was this routine that I was used to and was missing. I could almost hear a voice saying, 'this is not the way it was done before. This is not the feeling you used to get.' It was sad. I was sad. Not on the outside, but in the deep inside. I could see this look, as if I am watching myself looking to some old scenes playing; searching for these feelings and almost begging the food, the streets, even the company to be similar to the known, the familiar. But nothing would obey me.

I say to myself,'maybe only now they will not obey you, but later they will. Or maybe I will just forget. Or deny!'

19 Feb 2008

RANDOM [H];

- H., my old friend from Masters, called today immediately after I arrived. He still did not finish his thesis! Been 7 semesters. Well, I will be working on it with him in addition to my paper I am preparing for the conference end of March. Sounds interesting.

- I have noticed that I freak out people with my photographic memory. I try to convince them that I really dont remember anything and when I see them everything related to them just comes in. In all cases, I wish I will be blessed with the good memory and hopefully good ability to connect things until I die.

- Something annoyed me today. I wrote about it in my diary.

- Been silent all day since noon. A deep feeling to stay alone. I did. Haven't been talking or connecting almost at all.

- Not sure if my coughing got the waiter yesterday to think that I am a heavy smoker, or was it my rough attitude! He was confused or new. I think I intimidated him to the max although I honestly did not pay attention to him and actually tried to be kind. It did not work I suppose. All I wanted was to have him get me the order and disappear without too much details of what he should do. Just get me the food and leave.

- She asks me the same question everyday to which I answer in the same exact way that gets her upset. I am not intending to change my answer. Wish I would just be left undisturbed. Just dont ask me: same questions, what you want to do, or tell me what you are doing. I really dont care.

- I like to be alone.

- I enjoy the solitude in this weather. I can adapt myself to the absence of people no matter who they are. Just give me time.

- Distance changes me. And what is broken I dont particularly repair.

- I have a suspicious mind. Very. My guessing is wild and it sometimes hits it right. Sad!

- I accepted today.

- I will accept another thing soon too if what I doubted today was true.

- Been using my ink pen and it is a delight to be use it. I am glad I am back to hand writting. Feels different.

- When I ask a question, I usually expect an answer. I wont ask again though this time. Why? because I guessed the answer.

- I am not easily turned off but when I do, I dont get on again. Maybe that is why I sometimes, depending on how I enjoy you, start again. I accumulate in the hidden memory secretly I discovered. Until one time the memory overflows and the registery halts.

- Oh yea. I am.

18 Feb 2008

CLICHY

A beautiful early morning.

Since almost 5 am I have been awake as my most usual. Grace a my biological clock that I could not alter by the years. But it is a gift I guess. The ability to wake up early and just stay in bed silently listening. Things happen in a dazzaling order that only changes if a circumstances happen.

Birds sing. Sun rays coming in throught the bamboo curtain. Neighbour alarm clock vibrates and rings too high to wake to pray. Coran recitation ushers the school bus picking the girls up. Verses does change. Old car motor squeak and cranks before it is persuaded to be warmed up for today. Newspaper thrown outside door. A beggar passing in the street declaring, 'ya karam al-Allah.'

The players of all these I never saw. Had images of who they might be and what they look like. But i dont want to seek them or distort my image. I imagined them a certain way, authentic characters from some past time. Details of their personal lives sketched: Their dress style. How they walk. Smell. Attitude. Movement of their lips while starting their day. All taken care of. They are no strangers to me. I am sure. I made them up. Partially.

At times, I wish I havd lived in Alex, Port-Fou'ad or Rasheed, in an old quarter overlooking the sea or the lake, in a local area full of fishermen and guildless people; where I can hear more graceful interaction and enrich my archive of images; to be able to forecast the day's weather from the speed of their footsteps, from their natural mumbling and gasps. To wide open the window and taste what a new day means!

I leaned to the floor and picked the book I have been reading for a while. Turned on my little book-lamp and I read a beautiful piece.

'...a portion of me conceals a child who loves to be amazed, taughed and directed. When I listen, I am a child and Henry becomes paternal. ....the woman becomes a child again. .... And then in anger I want to dominate, to work like a man, support Henry, get his book published. To assert the woman.

He has seen the child!

I run away. I carry my secret away with me. I have the hope that Henry has not grasped it too well.' [Anais Nin. Journal of Love: Henry and June]

17 Feb 2008

SMILE

'...and We have seen your face wandering in despair looking to the sky, We will guide you to a direction in which your heart shall find rest.'


Now, I hear the verse again. And I smile. All i feel is that I am grateful to God. Not for passing me a chance or two or allowing an opener here and there. This He does to everyone.

I am grateful for simply choosing to make me the way I am, strong and willed yet realising; for trusting to teach me to turn my face up and down, to the sky and deep into the dirt yet know how to unfold it all in and see clearly; for allowing me to feel squeezed, trapped and inrage yet insist to naturally show His most precious gift: my smile.

12 Feb 2008

CAVE--SACRED

This was intended to be for you...... but luckily u revealed ur mask! All my emotions vanished. I hardly feel any pain! Maybe later I suppose. Just now I am so happy and feverishly halucinating from the tender tsunami waves that you whispered to me.

thank you.

7 Feb 2008

FINANCE II

So Madgy did very well in the finance exam he had the other day. He came by and when he met me he gave me the good news. Bravo! I was really worried about you. Well, good luck today in the RM. What is that! It is research methdology exam. Oh well! It is fun to see young people and see their fears and worries and also sarcasm.

The girl who came to the long haired guy and asked him to join her, her name is F. She works in a plastic surgery, a marketing executive to a leading company. I have her number and email. 2 of her friends did plastic surgery ranging from buttocks to refilling to lips enlargement. Her mother passed away 4 months ago. She was around 55 years, and she looked younger. Had I continued to listen, I am sure I would have inspired her to tell me more of her life secrets and dramas. But I am not that interested at this time. I dont really want to listen to many things at this moment other than cheerful news, and real things. But she is really nice actually. Polite.

Surprisingly, she asked for my number and I gave it to her. My cell number! Very funny. Well, she said that she is so happy to have seen me again(?) and very very good talking to me!

Interesting!

More interesting, she called me by mistake when we were sitting across the table from one another! It was hilarious. I laughed. She said, 'see your impact on me!' Well, she was going to call her other friend whose name was close to mine!

6 Feb 2008

PEE

Since I have been travelling a lot throughout the past month or so, I drink a lot of water. I make it a point to follow a certain diet and style of eating.

Generally I am not an over eating type or an unhealthy type. I eat lots of whole grain food, vegetables and vegetables. I dont like sweets anymore, and more into sour things. I dont eat junk food too only occaisionally. I only eat when hungry and never eat too much until feel full. Half stomach. More important, I share most of my food and this makes most of the quantities small. My only vice is water. I do not drink a lot of water. I do coffee, which is not good.

Recently, I am following a handmade diet. I eat grapefruit in the morning. No sugar. Drink Carrot juice with apples and black grapes. A mouth full of Olive oil. And a small bottle of water. I love olive oil. Not the very virgin one. The one that is cold press but not distilled.

I then drink tons of green tea with honey. And another 2 small bottles of water. No food or carb consumed.

I go for walks when I am in cairo, or around when I travel. And drink another bottle. I get bananas or a small cheese sandwitch with grapes and peach.

For supper, I do salad with grapefruit, raddish, rocket, and any green thing, almonds. OR, grilled fillet with steamed vegetables. OR fish with lemon sauce that I do very well. I stopped eating chicken long time ago.

At night, I drink another 2 small bottles of water and 1 cup of green tea.

The result is I go to the bathroom a lot. In the morning, when sitting working at a coffee shop I go to the bathroom almost 6-8 times in 4 hours. I look weird. I am going back and forth to the bathroom. One time my pants was wet from the water sprinkles.


Everytime I go pee, I feel good. WOOOO. It does feel good actually. I smile. It is a great addiction. Yes, peeing. Seriously. I feel healthy when peeing. And the pain associated with the peeing is great too. It is wonderful to feel good.

And I feel light and healthy. I know my body is thanking me too.

CARREFOUR

The great Brel's kept chanting with his painful, heart nerving voice in the midst of the scratching and squeaking of the old record, '...forces(z)le destin a chaque carrefour...'.

'PDAM PDAM PDAM..' announcing Piaf, trembling the walls of one's heart with awe and tardy courage.

And al-Mahdi's troops, all geared up, fully equipped with a piercing eyes focused on eternal destiny and daring hearts; battering their drums 'DADAM... DADAM... DAM DAM' Announcing their readiness, maturity and strength to face the coming destiny.

No matter what the road to destiny will take, we will penetrate there. Penetrate to the space where the good and evil disappear and meet; eternal destiny only revealed. Showing itself sharply and gently through the drapes of darkness and uncertainity. At this or that moment, closer or farther it will be, the carrefour will be elevated; the road will be one; the paths will be united; and the destination will unfold inside.

4 Feb 2008

AG

I used to see him in the corridor. The dimmed ones. He was pretty old. Very very old yet his spirit. Distinct voice. Leaned back. Sharp eyes. You can not miss him. To me, when I got to know him, was my ideal. Taught me a lot. Not school stuff. World stuff.

He woke up early. Very very early. In summer or in winter. Snow blizzard or hot boiling day. Would answer my emails at 5 am. I admired that. Asked him, 'always like that'. Yes. Forever will. He taught me how to write emails. Starting it off nicely. Ending it with 'have a great day'. I would do that. The in-between? I did not abide by his advice. Not always. He would generously praise. Generously generously praise. Amazing. I admired him. For his strength. As old as Ghandi. As powerful as Mandella. As shrewd as Gates. As opportunist as Trump. Was the first one to teach me the stock market trading. I was so damn naiive.

Would never forget his conversation when I got my first 6 figure job annual offer. 'No. No. You wont be spending that my dear. Invest. Invest.' And I did. He did. He had a lovely house in a great area downtown. A small apartment overlooking the lake. He was lovely.

For some reason, I became his TA and RA. 'My best TA ever' he would say. Always. He left me his office, laptop, money, books and videos all summer. Took me with him to South America. I was still naiive back then but he was the first to verbally tell me that I am smart. I should invest in myself. What I lacked. What I should learn. And most important, what I am good at. What I am perfect at. What I excel at. Praised me generously. Cirticised me in a sugar coated words. Very sweet.

At the age of 75 he picked up spanish. Very fast. My friend M. would teach him for an hour everyday in his office. I was fascinated by this guy. His 80 year spirit is so young. Amazing. He would take student tours and go to Costa Rica, Ecaudor. Chili. Ughanda! Amazing. His second wife, 20 years younger, was his life partner.

His endless advice: 'I never regretted marrying my second wife.' I knew what he meant. He then wispered me. Well, I took your advice. Too seriously I guess.

Until this very day, I would call him with his nick first name and put 'professor' before that. Odd way. He urged me to call him by his first nick name. I always refused. He would laugh.

The only time he kissed and hugged me was when I was leaving. I was taken back, not because I am not used to it, but because I did not know how much he really liked me. His eyes actually was full of tears. Opened his arms very wide. Took me in. It only lasted for seconds. He then raised his voice and said, 'Good luck. You will be great.' He had tears that quickly disappeared as he turned back and said, 'Show me how you did that thing I asked you about.' I smiled! Very practical. Very extremely practical, yet so filled with emotions.

I guess he never forgot me. Neither did I. He helped me indirectly. He is not so happy about where I am now. He never said it. But I know I disappointed him.

I will see him again soon. We are meeting up. And I am happy.

BTW, he is german. And he refers to Palestine as Israel. Do I care? No.

Religion and Politics surprise me ONLY!

3 Feb 2008

FINANCE

I am back to my Cilantro. Surprisingly it is the only place I enjoy. I tried Starbucks but I never liked it. Always irritating me no matter how I try to enjoy it. Sunny day. Rainy day. It is always annoying. And I never liked its coffee, not even when I was in the states. Dunkin Donuts was my favourite. And the jelly donut was an old companion in the exam days especially the hard ones. The beautiful downtown dunken donuts.

Working from home (or from cilantro) is perfect. Today happened to have my spot taken so I sat elsewhere beside a group of youngester studying finance for their exam. They are a blast. I kept laughing, initially pretending that I am laughing because of something I am reading, then I had to laugh with a voice. The guy they are trying to explain to him ROI, stock dividend, EPS, ... is so funny. He is so lost yet funny. Well Madgy, good luck. You needed to have studied earlier my friend. But I have a feeling you will be fine. Really. Finance is hard and it does not need a cilantro crash course!

The other guy with long hair I use to see years ago is at my table too. He seems to be a finance guy himself. He tried to expalin couple of things for him then he gave up. Funny too. A strange girl came to him. Slacking around him and talking in a spolied way. I am not sure if she is hitting on him, i dont think so. The only thing that came to mind is that he is up high in the organization and she is kissing ass. He seems kind though. He looked to her and kept nodding with a smile. He drank french press with a huge bar of choclate. Depressed! I relate choclate to depression not sure why! She said, 'if you are bored. Stuck. Come sit with me I am sitting alone.' A line that I would think I will hear when you are picking someone from a decent strip club! But who knows, maybe she is lonely. Maybe he is lonely. Maybe everyone is!

One thing that I discovered a decade and half ago, you can never break your loneliness with a partner. Never. You learn to enjoy yourself. Really. No other option.

Ah, and the long hair guy is named Amr. The students are third year business major at GUC.

Sweet to talk to them actually.