Before I read my last one, my Kindle had already been wrapped in dust with its new unused, smart tan cover, on a desk that had also caught its share of dust; an emblem of the most prominent pause my country is going through. A pause is not really a pause when you are inside it, rather an unending doom. Pauses show their beauty when they’re looked back at.
There’s this iPhone app that asks me every night how my day went. To be honest with you, I answered it a couple of times and then it lost its point after the days stopped going any well. It’s like a private journal of sorts. With the writing break I had inflected on myself starting a month ago, I gradually discovered that I missed writing, not in the least being less hurt by it, however. I have an abandoned cold green tea mug in my proximity, one that I had substituted with yoghourt on the account of my emerging spastic colon case, and a wild record of nerve burn, caused by a recent platoon of nightmares. It seems that stress is starting to get to me on a physical level, a thing that happened only twice to me with that level of severity: once earlier this year around February, and once back in late 2011. I have realized something that I can categorize under ‘useful information’; spastic colon, with its wide range of symptoms, outrageously crossing paths with those of other deadly diseases (may God protect me), tends to actually cause nightmares. In 2011, I had many of them, and they were about death.
This time it might actually be different though (not useful information after all). Everyone is thinking about death in my country these days. No one is entirely safe. Those of us who survived the massacres so far have actually been emotionally murdered by them, and in retrospect, the massacre victims turned out to be the lucky ones who truly survived them. They died, and as Muslims we believe they are in heaven, so if that is not survival then I don’t know what is.
Back to nightmares. I don’t know how to describe what happens most of the nights. It is not insomnia, because I do fall asleep, but then it’s not really sleep. It is, and my sister seconds this, as if you’ve just went somewhere else to be trapped inside until you wake up. You are too conscious of your sleep and too unconscious of it all at the same time. Some nights things go well, but others, it’s just too horrible.
Another symptom of stress is complete introspective hostility to (or fear by) free time. Free time will feel like a small version of judgment day to anyone who has conscience in Egypt. What should I have done? What should I do? Am I a good person? I have a lot of mistakes. Crap, not that sin again; I am supposed to have gone through this. Oh, that darn memory. Repeat.
Our emotional structures as Egyptians are too languid to withhold judgment these days. With all our types, we are too internally injured or maimed to the extent that criticism has entirely and completely lost all of its feats when it comes to making better of human beings. You find people talking and writing these days about all sorts of preposterous and incomprehensible stuff. You inspect some of the domestic affairs in Egyptian homes these days and you’d be surprised about the universes of emotions banked in there. I don’t think a cosmetic explosion would be sufficient for releasing what the Egyptian’s hearts are shouldering, not even in a decade of time.
So about that book I just halfheartedly finished; therapeutic writing was one of its largely preached subjects. The author, being a psychotherapist herself, says that people who write live longer. She should visit Egypt. Anyway. She was talking about ‘self observation’ and ‘dealing with stress’ and, well, yeah; writing does indeed make us self-aware, too self-aware at times.
In the neighborhood right now, the winds are chilly and winter is skying us. Some cold memories there. A cafe right downstairs is blasting Om Kalthoum, just to crown the catastrophic, bloody nationalist inclination of our country these days. Dad says back in the sixties she was that frequently heard. And you know what, it’s sad. I know that the cafe guys playing it are not bad human beings, I just think they might be as injured beyond repair as many, and they just unconsciously chose that way to deal with it.
Egyptians are not simple people. And the Egyptian society isn’t innocent anymore. Not when the sounds of fireworks cover up gun shots they’re not.
And I might write more, or else I may literally go nuts.