Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Long Way Back

When I was a child, I always dreamed of going away, traveling to exotic places, having wondrous adventures. I never knew that when I'm going to get older, all I would want to do is go back to where I was.
Everyday It keeps getting farther away, my home, everyday it keeps getting smaller, even the memories are slowly turning into shadows, some time ago I could even remember what my home smelled like, now all what's left a shadowy picture of a broken window and the dust on my bed. I wouldn't even recognize it in the pictures, I don't know if it’s lucky or unfortunate, but I don’t have any pictures left. Just a hazy shadow of things that were, a sit in the garden, my brother’s kids playing, my mother cocking, my dad’s whistle when he came home from work, and the unforgettable and unmistakable smell of his Cuban cigars.
I have always wondered…. Well… not always but since all this happened, what is left to go back to? Is it right to go back to memories? Only shadowy images collected in my brain? I don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong most of the time.. Hell…. I screwed up so many times with so many people and wasted so many chances that I cant even remember when was the last time I was right or did something right. But I only know this… I want to go home.
Where is home? Some would say there is no home anymore, they all say it’s not like before. But you know… homes never change, countries never change… it’s the people that change. But even the people cant change the country, even the most powerful of people cant change the way you feel about your country, because your country, when you were far far away and get back home, you feel this warmth, this sudden change of temperature that you have never experienced before until this day, this feeling if safety that only your country could give you, like the feeling your mother gives you when she hugs after you cry, I can only dream of this feeling.
Who said that our country has changed? Who changed it? And do these people deserve what has happened to them? do Iraqis deserve what happened to them? No humane being deserves to suffer like that, no man should see this pain. I don’t know about people, I don’t know what they had done, I only know that deep down in their souls, deep down underneath all the exteriors, they, just like me, all want to go home.
Its ironic how I wanted to travel as a kid, most people feel the need to change their place of living when they are teenagers of young adults, but then again, I haven’t been your normal child anyway, father. Your other children were better than me, they all looked better than me anyway. They all got my mom’s green eyes and her extraordinary good looks, I got your eyes dad, you short-sighted eyes, your hair, that curl right above my forehead that no barber can ever mend, I got your calm or lest that what mom says, and I got you love of home.
Sometimes I think I got the best genes, but my mistakes always beg to differ, but I guess every one of us wishes that he or she were someone else, or some place else. We all have our dreams, we all day dream about something, we all make mistakes, but we forget and we move on. We forget how we hurt people or how people hurt us, we forget faces and names, and we even forget our homes. I am beginning to forget mine, and I am afraid that the only thing I will take to my grave, the only memory Satan and I are going to talk about in hell, is the death and destruction and chaos that is happening now. The only thing left is one single memory, one single picture of me staring at the river from my window. This is what scares me, not being able to close my eyes and remember, not being able to exhale and smile, not being able to say “for old time's sake” because this sentence doesn't mean anything anymore. What would you do if you just can’t move on and leave everything behind, what can you do if all you want is to go back to the things and life you left behind? What would anybody do if all what they want is to die and be buried in their country? I am afraid that when I die, they wouldn't bury me back home, I am afraid that they wouldn't plant a tree over my grave and let me be one with its roots. I haven't accomplished anything in my life, I haven’t really made a difference, and I don’t think I will anytime soon, all I want, all I need for my life to mean something is to be buried in my soil, and let me give life to something else. That way I won’t really die, I will always live in that tree.
All the people I know want to get out, all the people now want change, and all the people I know want something different... Out, change, and different didn't really work out for me. I want to try the way we were this time, and I want to go back home.
Sometime I will, sometime. Not yet maybe, and not in the near future but something will change. I am not a politician and would never pass as one, but people need to understand what’s best for them. And what’s good for you can surly work for everybody else.
I am telling you, everybody wants to go home. I want to go home… I want to get in my house, go up to my room, light a cigarette, and watch the river from my window, I want to close my eyes and let my old friend the Tigris sweep all my pain away. It’s a promise old river, it’s a promise.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


This heart has no love in it no more; this heart has grown old and weary. This heart has no meaning to it no more; this heart has only blood in it. This heart has no purpose except to keep this cadaver alive. This heart closed it eyes for beauty and kindness and now sees only pain and suffering. Or was it that its eyes were closed for it? This heart sees no color anymore, this heart doesn't recognize passion, this heart doesn't do the things it was created to do, except keeping this cadaver alive. These is no love in this heart anymore, it might as well stop pumping blood.
Of all the things that have become, and all the things that are yet to pass, this heart has no sense. This heart lost its existence in the world. What’s the meaning of material existence if you don’t really exist? If you don’t really feel this existence? If you don’t feel the things and people around you? Because this heart lost all feelings, this heart lost its ability to withstand, to survive. It has grown despondent, solitary, like it has been swallowed by a whale.
Four years I have lived inside this whale’s belly, Jonas stayed for 3 days and cried his eyes out, and I have been here for 4 years. I envy him; at least his had a god to help him? Where is my god? Is he hiding in the green zone too? Is he behind stone walls and concrete blocks? Does he have black water bodyguards? Does he only listen to eloquent sophisticated non-Arabic prayers? I can send him a dictionary, I just need the address.
3500 lives is the cost of this war, nobody counts the unworthy, the not-humans. Some say 50.000 some say a million, but nobody is keeping count. Nobody counts this heart. Nobody cares about this heart. My feelings are limited by my limited vocabulary, but my words are from my aching heart. I am earth, I am from earth, and my words are to earth.
But nobody counts this heart, and many many other hearts like it, hearts that have stopped loving and caring, hearts that even stopped doing its main physiological reason of being, hearts that have stopped beating, stopped pumping blood to bodies, bodies turned to cadavers, humans turned into worm food, even worms don’t like the taste of the unworthy. Who can blame them? dogs are being taken care of more than the unworthy, dogs are more cared for than the unworthy, they know how much they spend on dogs, but do they know how many unworthy they have killed?
4 million displaced, and there is no problem, why? Because they are the unworthy. What would they think if 15 million people of their country were displaced? Probably wouldn't care because most of them would be poor, the unworthy again. Hail Katrina.
Hail Caesar. He came, he saw, he conquered the unworthy. Hail Caesar for bringing democracy to the unworthy, they ungrateful. Hail him for ridding the world from the “superfluous”, the “unnecessary”, the unworthy.
This heart makes no sense anymore, it has no sense anymore. It tortures itself for things that happened a long time ago, things that its imagines it going to happen, things it doesn't want to happen but still does. Images of mistakes and misjudgments, images of love and passion, a passion he doest know anymore. It’s like giving a man who suffered amnesia his ID card, it feels familiar but the face and the name doesn't ring any bells. This heart has new friends. Pain and cigarettes are his only best friends, one of them is going to the reason of its demise, and maybe both if it lasted long.
“these young hearts have already become old- and not even old! Only weary” Friedrich Nietzsche.