الخميس، 24 مايو، 2012


Place: Coffee shop in Cairo                                                    Time: 5 pm

Cairo 2011
z: I  called you randomly. I was close to where I knew you have been living for the past 5 years.
a: I didn't pick up
z: I called you twice
a: I don't even remember what I was doing
Cairo 2005
z: I took them to that place where they make great burgers
a: I love that place
z: you got me addicted
a: I didn't even recognize you  that day
z: you had started smoking
a: You didn't look like the you I know
Cairo 2007
z: we added each other on facebook
a: "Mabrouk"
z: I didn't answer
a: I thought you had been offended
z: I think I was
Cairo 2002
a: we weren't even 12
z: I don't think we had hit puberty
a: we hadn't
z: what was it that brought us so close?
a: how could you forget?
z: the music
a: yes, the music
Cairo 2012
z: Do you remember me?
a: Your handwriting hasn't changed, I would know it anywhere
Cairo 2004
z: The guitar lessons
a: you never took it seriously
z: you took it all the way
Cairo 2011
a: I called you back
z: I was in Tahrir that day, my first time
a: I was scared something would happen to you
Cairo 2002
z: I wrote you letters
a: I didn't even see them till a year later
z: I can't believe you didn't look in the envelope
a: I just thought that the envelope was the letter
z: I loved your handwriting
Cairo 2012
a: I still remember your handwriting. I know you. I know you like no one else does. How many years was it habibty? I would do anything for you. You called me, asked me for a favor. It was just a little bit of music; I would play for you anywhere. You haven't changed; at least not to me. You are still who you are. You are still who you have been to me.
Cairo 2005
z: You sent me a new track of yours online.
a: I took a lot of drugs then
z: you girlfriend added me on Facebook
a: God she was intense
Cairo 2011
z: The day I called you I couldn't demonstrate. I just walked around. It was cool. The trees were calm. I went to church. That large cathedral in Zamalek close to the Nile. I sat there at the center during Mass and I felt I was in a painting. The stained glass held me there; I was taken in by the colors. Then the music. It brought you. I called you
Cairo 2010
a: I thought about you at times
z: You must've crossed my mind
Cairo 2011 and 2012
 a: I was moving fast
z: I was tired
a: I had just arrived, there were so many people
z: I was moving out to meet with others to bring in food and first aid
a: The path where we met was actually empty for such a crowd
z: It was, I spotted you right away
a: Your hug, always
z: You're too tall now for a proper one
Cairo 2011
a: We had coffee
z: Yes, I felt so weird that day
a: I felt so happy to be sitting with you after so long
z: You moved just the way you did when you were 12
Cairo 2012
a: I don’t sing, but for you…
z: Habibi, it has been too long. Seeing you hugging the guitar was like being hit with a shower of memories which had not happened
a: Hey Mr. Tambourine Man/Play a song for me/I'm not sleepy/And there's no place I'm going to
z: I was so proud of you, so proud of who you had become.
a: Hey Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, in the Jingle Jangle morning I come following you
z: I was proud of how we had grown
a: I love you awi
z: I love you too, so much
a: Habibti, call me when you're back
z: I will habibi, but one day, let's go together

الاثنين، 21 مايو، 2012

Just another blog post


Close up: A bathroom sink – white porcelain basin adorned with roses all around. A story unfolds in small calligraphy entangled with the roses to end with the quotation "As the redness of this flower, I'm on fire with love". The camera takes a close up shot of the last line. Cut.


The first rose was an accident I think. The predictable outcome of your sweetness. You're just the right measure of honey. I scrape your back and under my nails are the few droplets which I want. With you, I rarely need to rearrange my taste buds.

Near the old buildings – those of the woman you cherish so much. The heat sometimes does not exist in the winter. Sometimes, it dissolves into the coolness of walls much older than you and I. Sometimes the heat escapes in the ripened color of fruit wanting a caress of lips and teeth.

There – in the dissolved heat – I put her gently in the folds of the dyed skin that hold all my unnecessary necessities. Gently so that in her ripeness her petals do no crimson my hands.

Gently, she lies.

If only she could stay as soft as this moment.

I make her shorter – like me – and I smell her heat. The color smells like you – your fleeting scent.


Roses are red. Violets are blue. Angels in heaven. Know I love you.


Wood carries stories better than leaves. The leaves grow weary with memory. They are mixed up in my memory which has worn me out.

I press my pencil to my mind as I touch the wood that was not there that day and try to remember. Where did I leave you?

The pages turn and turn.

I cannot make out the language.

Even though the days had taken away her fullness, she was still soft. Fluid. She flowed as you stared at her on her bed of dust. She flowed as if into a glass – rushing into the arms of a keen pining lover waiting for his fill. She flowed.

I think now I remember. Now as I write this. Yes. It must be it. It is – memory is sometimes kind. I remember where I left her.

She waited for me to take her from you. She kept her water to see me. She kept her fullness and flowed after so long.

So long, waiting, from the day I was standing above you and you were reaching out a tree with the instrument's case, empty of wood.

From that day she waited, beat the dust and flowed like wine into my eyes.


Scene from The Age of Innocence: Black background, the roses waking up deliciously. Budding to bloomed. Open – to the heart.


Little rays of sunshine crawling up from the green base to wash the pink with love. She was big and bold like you.

She was sleeping in paper, yellow golden sheets. She was yawning – prepared for a new life.  Yawning in her golden bed as you held her up to me, shaking her waves that were coiffed flawlessly on top of her stem.

You were trying to make me feel better. Roses make me…Is it incomplete? Perhaps

I kept her in water and right before I left I took her with me. My travel companion. My rose. My partner.


You gave me a shred of the sun and I keep trying to braid it into my curls.

Every time I feel down – I feel drenched – I feel dehydrated – I feel cut off. Every time. Then. I wonder if in my sunless days I manipulate you into watering me.


The paper on the wall: "Roses of sunshine. Violets of dew. Angels in heaven. Know I love you".


Does he know?

I remember the story of the dark lover who was lost in the bluegreen waves. I dream. I see the cabin. She melts. I dream.

To belong so elusively to a moment.

To shine those moments of fear of what might have happened had -

If he knows, would you ask him to tell me? I do not know how to feel.
Should I feel the subtleness of the tips on my skin. The coral which I could drown myself in any day – gifted to me so quick I do not notice. But the smell takes me in. Should I sink into them; in their midst and bathe in the tips tickling me as I fall or should I sink my flesh into the thorns?

Let him tell me.


Let me know.

Ask him to tell us a story of lovers lost in a boat of petals sewn together. Lovers wrapped in a quilt.

Do you think he knows the story we want to hear?

His face comes to my eyes and you are in my heart – pumped at every moment of being scared of the smell of roses at my bed.

His face comes to me and his laugh is sweet music coming from above.

And you.

You are as beautiful as the grin of his eyes.

So come

Let me sing for you

Come and let me sing to you of petals that do not dry…