I don’t remember ever receiving a book as a gift. I usually do that to others. Maybe my memory is failing me. One of my Dutch work colleagues who is visiting Cairo these days, the one I wrote about here, surprised me last week with this.
“I brought you a book”, he told me on our way to lunch. I’d told him that the last considerable thing I read was three months ago, that it was for Allan Poe, and that since then my life’s gotten too busy for words. He also discussed my book with me, and told me that he read some pieces from it.
After lunch, we parted ways by the pantry, where I had to go for green tea, and where he went to his desk. When I eventually entered, I found the golden wrap resting neatly by my sweater. I was too overwhelmed because I didn’t know he actually had it wrapped for me. I thanked him heartily and told him that this would definitely end my prolonged break from books. I didn’t even ask him about the title, and he never mentioned it to me. The only words he said were: “Few first pages, and you won’t put it down”.
And for a peculiar reason, the same sensation that had visited me during our dinner long months ago, made its way into my chest like the spring it was. The sensation that I needed this, that there is something about words, and the people who love them, that simply revives me, that so naturally spreads into my own lungs and deepens my broken sigh.
Life gets too real sometimes, to the fullest that’s my heart’s occupation, and I just, I just forget how beautiful some things really are, the simple things, the small things.
I am thankful for this.
I will tell you when I’ve unwrapped it and read it, in-sha’Allah.
And I hope you are well,