Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays

I feel like an astronaut.

Khadija cut me a break from streetfood with Friday lunch consisting of some unrecognizable animal they insisted should remain a secret and makes a sound I have never heard as imitated.

After we decided the appropriate display areas for Obama paraphernalia we went to Lubna`s salon where the air was saturated with steam and the overwhelming suffocating scent of feminine conceptions of beauty. A wedding party waited quietly but secretly impatiently to slide their hijabs off and have their hair done then promptly readjust their newfound curls into little buns so they fit under the tiny triangles of cloth that somehow never slip to reveal the roots. Mine always do.

Safia and I created seats out of various things around the room and drank cawa and tallked to the baby sitting on the lap of the woman next to me with the sour face even when we cooed at her baby.
Once energized by the cookies Safia bought for me which we shared, the baby started petting my tufts of hair like one might a mangey animal. I felt remotely comforted.

I waited a few hours for beauty to take hold of me before the steam eventually put me to sleep in my chair and the baby played with the candy wrappers and I earned the right to go home without shaming myself.

Qodqm lzanqa, the cinematheque is even more beautiful than before, saturated with goods for sale and delinquent teenagers. I hide in the back by necessity, not choice, and still feel a certain sense of "dyality" even though I don`t use the rooms w m3andi sweret walu. does that count as arabic ebonics? i hope so. That`s how I meant it.

It's a holiday for all of the Godfearing believers. Then Kashmir, then Gaza. My mother thinks the phones are bugged. "America is a caring guy he used to go rescue people but now he changed his policy so Allah changed his policy too." She is Kashmiri and has learned to make sense of anything.

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