Archive for January, 2014

Part 22

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Islamic school on the weekends and during the summer no longer became an option for many reasons. One of them was money, nothing is ever free, and the other was our decision as a family to discontinue my education there. If I wasn’t learning anything new, then it wasn’t necessary. My father took up supervising my Quran memorization at home. One thing about about Uncle A that has never changed is love of arguing. If there’s nothing to argue about, he will create something. He was doing well with his pharmacy business, but he always found time to argue with my father about things. One of their fights went overboard and he threatened to snitch my father out to the police because of his job.

It was almost a daily routine to sit down and listen to my father tell us stories about his narrow escapes from the police after work. NYPD would raid their rooms and it used to be much like something you would see on one of those crime drama shows. Undercover police would watch their places of operation on a daily basis, but were easy enough to spot. My father had a worker that had a lot of gambling debt and the police used that as a weak point to use him a mole in my father’s network. One of their unexpected room raids was caused by his defection and it involved jumping out of a three story window to escape. One of his employees broke a leg from the jump and got caught. A lot of times, my father would come home past midnight and my mother would argue with him about his line of work. When she was at her wit’s end, she would call him a criminal to his face and to me when I would ask about certain things that were going on. They had to do a lot of lying especially when reporting taxes to cover for his illegal source of income and all of this was way over my head.

The test that determines eighth grade graduation was a source of a lot of stress and studying. Most of the specialized schools that I applied to rejected me so I was automatically enrolled in William L. Dickinson High School. The graduation ceremony was a lonely one since my friend and I had parted ways close to the end of the year.  Social activities that we had in school consisted of mandatory dance class supervised by Mr. L which was a dicey subject. I had told my parents and my father said that it was a dirty activity and I couldn’t partake in it. Had to relay the message to Mr. L and explain that I couldn’t do it if it involved dancing with a partner. He just rolled his eyes and mumbled something under his breath then designated me as the record player during the dance sessions. He eventually found a way around it by having me partake in the Cha Cha dance that we did en mass without partners. We made an agreement not to tell my parents about it.

My main anxieties about high school had to do with being in such a large school that was a long bus ride from home and the stories of violence that circulated that public school.


Typewriter Muse

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

You can feel..
You can do…
You can write…
You can say…
Whatever you want to…
Whenever you want to…
Only when you’re free!

Freedom is a gift.
Sometimes it doesn’t last long.
It could be taken away,
In less than a day!
So be careful and use it the right way!

So if you misuse it,
You’ll lose it!

Just One Way
When there’s just one way to live,
It might get boring…

When there’s just one way that people look or act,
It might get boring…

When there’s just one way to eat,
It might get boring…

When there’s just one way to play,
It might get boring…

When everything is done just one way,
When people act or look just one way,
Then we might as well be all the same person.

Be Proud!
Be proud of what you have
Be proud of what you are
Be proud of your culture and history
Be proud of the color of your skin
Be proud of where you were born
Be proud of where you were raised
Be proud of your family
Be proud of your gender
Be proud of your name
Be proud of your personality
Be proud, Be proud!

Yes, I’m a Bird Lover
When you wake up in the morning
What do you see?
On the electric wire outside the window
What do you see?
I see a bunch of birds or, more specficially, pigeons
I stare at them, they stare back at me,
Then they make their sounds-hoow, hoow
I smile then answer back “hoow, hoow to you too,”
for I am a bird lover, yes that’s right, I’m a bird lover,
I love all kinds of birds, from little chics to big bald eagles
For I am a bird lover, can’t you see?

Rice! Dice!
Rice and dice
Dice and rice
Rice on dice
Dice on rice
Mice with rice on dice
Mice with dice on rice
Mice on rice with dice
Mice on dice with rice
Lice with mice on rice with dice
Lice with mice on dice with rice
Lice on mice with rice on dice
Lice on mice with dice on rice
Lice Mice Rice and Dice all on ice with spice!
Lice Mice Rice and Dice all on dry ice with asian spice!
Ouch! That’s not nice!!

Flickering Silence
Why do I feel so empty?
When will it end
Will I ever be whole?
why..?! WHY…?!

Fate Creates Opposites
Fate is hate
Faith born too late
Double-sided coin love and hate
Too scared to love
Too painful to hate

Doodles in Art Class
I found my soul and heart
and lost my body
Yet – my soul is darker shades of grey and
only half of my heart is left.

Lock of Infinity
An S is half of infinity right side up.
To the mortal infinity means nothing.
To unlock my second identity put infinity in the lock S.
“His first dilemma and the beginning of a father’s happiness.”

The Nameless One
The darkest black night
huddled figures dark eyes
Stare deeply in yours

Colorful Shapes
I burned my nail today on a candle’s fire
brother on Sunday told me to
wear jewelry so father would
say that I look nice
Masochistic Tendencies
they look like stars
little beacons of light
flags waving in the air
fireflies meeting
blades of grass swayed by the breeze
…My First Million…mint should only be eaten
is it the fire pushing them away so violently
or is it the new undercurrent of melted wax?
now they truly look like flags waving barely
above the surface of their own personal lakes.

Selfish Tears
Been viewing the world through tearless eyes for years
years haven’t cried with selfish tears.

Made a vow on a Steven Spielberg drama in May
and broke it on a Shakespearean tragedy in July.
Making and breaking is split by a y-shaped wall.

Tears fall in sympathy and helplessness
frustration becomes a part of the cast
for let it be known that frustration and helplessness
are a couple from the past.

Graffiti on the wall speaks of selfless sacrifices
a different version of the same story painted on each side.
One thinks the other spineless
they both refuse to see the same story behind the divide
instead they hide
hiding in their own worlds.
One attempting to start over without the other
a plan made frantically in an attempt to regain pride unfolds
yet, the obvious flaw, the counterpart, appears suddenly like a long lost brother.

The double-sided story in graffiti changes
concept is no longer clear
the wall itself seems to be falling apart and out of fear,
both sides, in confusion, sign a treaty.

Confusion in tears once shed selflessly before now purpose unknown
simple injury or more?

Each minute spent brooding feels sixty times longer than reality.
My old friend is being fed hunger
another vow made on war in October.

Half full Half empty
If no one was there to hear a tree fall,
did it really make a sound?
If no one was there to hear a deaf man’s words,
did he really speak?
Perception is nothing and everything
everything and nothing
half full and half empty
life and death
truth and lies
society and truth
Society’s perception is like a deceptive veil
Like the veil of a young bride
hoping to deceive her groom to be
Like the thin veil between life and death
propaganda and truth
what are we to believe in an age full of lies?

Too Many
There are too many
who are forgotten
Too many
who aren’t loved.
Too many who don’t love.
Too many lost souls.

Clear Water
If you could see the wind
What would it look like?
If you want to know the color
Imagine clear water.

Cruel Innocence
In memory of the fallen who still believe in miracles
The smile that mocks your anguished cries
“What are you reaching for?”
It sneers?
There is no straight answer
For the parasite who has nothing to hate but themselves
Soon you will have your conclusion
Soon you will become the comedy of the tragedy.

The Meaning of Life
What is the meaning of life?
If we were born to die, then why were we born at all?
“Each day we live we are also a day closer to death”
That is the path of all living creatures
Then why must we always bother with small matters
such as looks and society’s perception of who we are?
Aren’t such things trifle, meaningless if it’s all in vain
Do we live only to die, our bodies turning to dust, forgotten
To have our decedents tread upon us, only dirt in their eyes
centuries upon centuries in the far future
forgotten…never existed…dead…

The Revolution
Welcome to my realm of darkness, a single beam of light shines on my well known Silent Fortress, illuminating majestic shades of purple and a small glimpse of heat. Where night seems to last forever and sunlight never touches the dark tower reaching endlessly for the sky above. A place where one wishes for the warmth of the closest distant star. A dead cold silent place. Then the small beam of light widens and soon covers even the darkest of places, filling the fortress with a new essence of life. The light beams magnificently out of the ageless rows of windows and the elegant doors of it’s entrance. The purple light returns to the small beam it was, leaving it’s shine still on everything it touched. The once cold and dead silence that hung over the fortress changed into the beautiful silence of life. One that gives satisfaction and peace in the heart, mind, body and soul. A firefly sprouts from the thin beam of light shining on the ground once more. The revolution has begun…..

A man that looked incredibly similar to Father Time was browsing in what seemed like a huge private library. Books of all sizes were stacked neatly on thousands of shelves, all the same brown color labeled “Life” on the side in fancy gold letters. At a closer view, it is noticed that each book is a volume labeled by roman numerals placed in numerical order on the shelves. The man removes one of the books from it’s place as if he were demonstrating a key posture in a musical. He says in an entrancingly melodic voice to his assistant the following:

“You meet so many people everyday, never considering the stories that lies behind each one, no matter how short or insignificant. So many stories, some short, some long enough to form books. All related, intertwined at some point, all told in sequence, in volumes upon volumes, in the everlasting series called Life.”

Creature of the Dark
It was unnaturally dark and the silence hung uncomfortably in the still air. A sudden movement behind abruptly broke the silence. Sweat began to accumulate on my forehead, running down my face in rivulets passing through my eyebrows and stinging my eyes. My heart skept a beat as I heard heavy breathing next to me. Instinctively, I turned my head towards the source. Even though I couldn’t see who, or what, it was, I already knew. Having gathered up all the courage I could muster, I swung at it. My fist made a “swish” noise before reaching the point of contact. The breathing went and came simultaneously, sounding more exhausted each time. Then, satisfied, I kicked at the fading ragged breaths. This time, my blow made no contact. Surprise overwhelmed me as I felt my leg whizz through nothingness. Something hurtled towards me from behind. I tumbled helplessly forward, landing face-first in the dirt. Another blow hurtled my way as I recovered my senses. Having easily dodged it, I kicked the source furiously in the chest. The breathing slowed, I smiled as it became almost inaudible. A voice reminds me that “almost” doesn’t count.

Part 21

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

There was a small group of friends that I was part of at the mosque, but only because the girl that I considered to be my best friend was at the head of it. When I wasn’t hanging out with them, I would be listening to reggae on my tape player. Lessons were pretty boring when the Chinese boy left, so I would hide the headphones under my scarf while I listened to music in class. The dynamic of our little group was a bit odd. It was basically just us with a bunch of my friend’s groupies that would hang around. She was pretty and popular. I was the muscle whenever it was needed and the one that carried out secret operations that required sneaking into forbidden areas like the men’s section.  It turned out that my friend lived on the same block as me so excursions to the park happened more often.

Morning TV shows before school became an obsession for me at that time since my father got us cable for the Arabic channels. Captain Planet, my early childhood favorite, wasn’t around anymore so I had to make due with Toonami. Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon were necessary for me to start my day right as time went on. The moment I found out that those shows were adaptations of comics, I had to read them. Comics had always been one of my secret obsessions and the only book that we took with us to Egypt was the “Death of Superman” comic. By the time we returned the US, the poor comic was beaten from overuse and I needed new material badly. It eventually got to the point where I rejected the TV shows because I found the comics to be superior story-wise. Not to mention the artwork that was completely different from anything I had been exposed to before. Trips to Barnes and Noble would be begged for and, when I found out about Amazon, it was game over. We didn’t have a car so public transportation to Barnes and Noble in Hoboken became a bit tedious with the little ones. Sponsored time using dial-up internet through AOL was my portal to a more convenient way of getting my fix.

Chores also became a part of my daily routine and the one that I hated the most was cleaning dishes. It was like pulling teeth for my mother to get me to do them. Our domestic bliss had its had moments, as to be expected of any household. Once, I had gathered up my siblings to play computer games with me and my father stormed in yelling at us to get off. He accused us of doing nothing but goof around and I asked him what we did wrong. My line of questioning got him angrier and I my own anger rose with every accusation he shot our way. I ended up yelling at him, saying that we didn’t do anything to deserve that kind of treatment. He went and got the broom and started to hit my siblings with it so I grabbed the handle and refused to let go. We had a short tug of war while maintaining eye contact with each other. He eventually let go and walked away with a smirk on his face.

There was a night where he continued to hound me about my weight. He called me fat and mocked me about it while he laid in bed with my mother. She told him to stop at one point, but he told her to be quiet and continued. Trying to get her in on it. Looking back at it, it was his way of trying to push me to be lose some of it, but at the time it just made me more depressed. I cried myself to sleep that night while my anxieties about starting high school grew deeper.

High school scared me, but New Jersey started to feel more and more like home.