On commas & full stops

I thought if I had bared my soul and my thoughts to you

If I had written to you about you and referenced to you in the things I had done,

Then you would have understood

You would have felt it too,

this vulnerable state I am in, constantly.

I thought if you had read how I felt, black on white, then you would have known. If I had written it as clearly as I could, you would get it the way I did. You would respond. You’d say something.

I keep shooting in the dark, I never see it hit anywhere. I speak and my words end up either lost somewhere between us or right back where I’ve left them, in front of you to inspect. All you’ve ever done is glare at them. What good is it to admire them from afar but never really get to touch them, or feel the edges of every letter between your hands.

Afraid it will hurt your fingers? It might.

Don’t worry actually it should.

Here I thought a future with our words intertwined and our lips locked wouldn’tve been too inconceivable.

You were never mine, I give you credit for much more than what you are.

I give you credit for so much more than what you want to be.

You never wanted to take any part of my future.

I’m sorry I hung on to you when all you’ve wanted to do was let go.

I’m sorry I put so much importance on something that should’ve gone by as quickly as it came.

I’m sorry I put emphasis on a comma, but I thought it weighed much more than one breath in a pause.

We should learn not to put stress on one part of a sentence when it is clearly not finished yet. It ruins its whole aesthetic.

We should learn never to put emphasis on a comma when we can clearly see its full stop right there after its last word, but I was so used to writing my own that I hadn’t realized you were holding the pen.

Sadly this time you thought it was better not to write at all.


On unicorn slippers and silent wishes

Raise your hand if you’re in that awkward stage of your life where you’ve been scrolling through pictures of a friend’s engagement party while slurping noodles that took less than a minute to make in a microwave!

*Sees metaphorically raised hands*

I see you. You feel me.

If you are going through this right now, let me just

Give you a hug

Really, come here… it’s okay.

For those that have not yet gone through this, just you wait, it won’t be pretty; and for those whose 20s are long behind them, please reminisce with me on that time your family started giving you the look.

You know, that look that has been passed down generations. That look that your mom gives you just as she finishes scrolling through pictures of one of her friends’s daughters who has recently gotten married, and then proceeds to look at you, eating your sandwich on your sofa, legs crossed, watching whatever reality show that was airing on TV at the moment.

It’s that same look you get when one of your mother’s friends tells her about their daughter’s recent engagement. You are also there, listening in on the details, happy for her. Then your momma looks at you. It’s never really a disappointed look, it’s usually just a hopeful, slightly concerned one. She never says anything, but you can see it in her eyes, how hopeful she is for your own little future, and how badly she wants you to bring an eligible bachelor home someday. Her look is more of a silent wish, a hushed prayer if you will.

*I hope you find someone, but he better not break your heart* I imagine her whispering through her eyes.

*I want grand babies soon*

please mom. I am the only baby you need right now.

Now, I think back to that moment when I saw that look, as I am currently walking around my room with gigantic unicorn slippers on that I had received as gifts from my brother on my birthday. Because right now, this is where I am in my life. I wear professional colors on weekdays and unicorn slippers on weekends. I enjoy Cardi B and Instagram stories a little too much. I still sing like there’s no tomorrow in my room although the walls are thin and I’m 95% sure my next door neighbor can clearly hear me. I also sing a little at work. I’ve been told to stop that.

I thought teen years were awkward. Wait until you’re in your twenties and have to pay taxes and do your own dishes and get surprised with insurances you never knew you enrolled in, but still en up calling your mother when your head has been hurting you for more than two hours.

You first learn how to walk when you’re a baby, but in your twenties you start learning how to walk on your own, and that’s a big difference.




Stretching, in all its forms

Running to work this morning like a maniac,
Correcting that
Fast walking to work this morning like a maniac, because no matter how late you are, whether be it to a meeting or a wedding, do not rush life, as it is already hasty and rushed on its own.
If I am late, je l’assume.
I am late, might as well enjoy the crummy Parisian weather.
Anyway point is, fast walking to my work, I was holding an Arabic book in my left hand. In my right my phone, linked to my headphones, linked to my ears which were playing Shakira en Español, my feet stepping to the beat headed towards my french little workplace in Paris.
Trilingual in my accessories, Arabic book in hand, Spanish song in head and french entourage, I realized how incredibly blessed we are, globe trotters. Not just bilingual by where I come from, although the lebanese should be very proud, but people who have left home to find home in other places. How we were able to stretch our arms so far until we could no longer see the tips of our fingers, but we knew we would meet someone on the other side, even if we could not see our hands, even when we could not see who was holding them. But they did, they held on because we spoke their language, we bond with them and their cultures. We respect and emit good will.
I remembered being as little as twelve, sitting in classrooms in Dubai, touching elbows with those my age from other ends of the world. Everything I have ever known was difference, in people, places, cultures, backgrounds, music, hair, eyes, thoughts, voices, headbands and fingertips.
Yet we still stretch. I found out how much I enjoyed it, when I went back to Lebanon and was constantly surrounded by people who looked and talked like me. I missed the differences the moment I was faced with an abundance of similarities.
And then I got to experience stretching again in university. We stretched together, and always met in the same places. Sometimes we stretch much more than our arms, sometimes time seemed to stretch with us.
How lucky we are to have found similarities in all our differences.
We form little parities of our own, and that really has always made the biggest difference.

Honest reflections

Your body has a way of calling you out on your own bullsh*t.

So it’s no new news to me that I stress easily. It has been difficult to deal with at various, numerous, multiple, and every other synonym possible;  occasions.

The thing is I’ve been suppressing telling people that I’m not really feeling my best. In most situations I’m stressed, but repeating that I am in fact, stressing, just becomes repetitive and habitual. So when people ask, I let it pass as if it were fine, regardless of my burning insides.

And as I follow the fast pace of my heart, I pass a mirror, to which I stop and look at my features. I see that my face is somehow slightly different. My forehead is red from the constant stress, the spots look at me and roll their eyes. I can’t lie to my body, I live in it. I stare at myself, and my body stares back at me, almost tapping foot on the ground in an all-knowing and disappointed glare.

I can escape everyone’s judgement except my own reflections’, just outing me in all my lies. I can read how tired and hyper emotional I am in my own eyes, facing my mirror.

I look at my body staring back at me, it knows everything I feel, and keeps screaming out loud what I keep hushing down, shamelessly.

Think of your body an an honest toddler, that clearly calls you ugly when it thinks you’re ugly. That outs you before you’re ready. That speaks before you can form a thought.

They display things black and white, they lay it all in front of them for everyone to see.

and more importantly, for you to see.

France has a tissue issue

So I’m sick again, as most people are during this dreadful weather. The peak is 7 degeees so no thank you I’d rather wait this out ‘til it’s over. In June.

Anyways a person with a cold usually needs tissue, as you may imagine; yet for some reason, (and this is no new revelation, I’ve noticed it in France the moment I came). THE. FRENCH. LACK. TISSUES.

If you go to a restaurant in Lebanon or Dubai, they sometimes put a plastic holder with nearly an endless supply of hand tissues for you to use. They also put some under the cutlery. In France however, there are practically never any tissues on your table, they put a gigantic cloth under your cultery. So… I can’t really  wipe my nose with this can I.

Thanks for absolutely nothing.

You order a billion things from a fast food restaurant, and they place one single tissue above your mountain of an order. WHY this treatment? Am I not worthy enough for your tissues? Is it really too much to ask?

The place I currently work in also doesn’t have any tissues in sight, and bringing my big flashy box of wipes just seemed to be a bit of a hassle.

I also went to a place in Grenoble recently. I asked the woman behind her desk if she had any tissues because I felt a sneeze coming, and she actually said that in their entire building, they did not even HAVE any boxes. She then proceeded to direct me to the bathroom.

The bathroom.

The woman wanted me to wipe my face with faded pink toilet paper.

You may ask, Why, sick human, do you not bring your own pocket tissues and get this over with.

Well, I do. They finish, and then I’m out for the hunt again, and they shouldn’t be so difficult to find anyway.

France, please solve your tissue issue.

Beirut roar in Paris streets

I was looking out the bus window this morning on my way to work, and I don’t know if you get this too; when you feel the sudden urge to only listen to music from your home country, when you’ve been in another country for longer than a few months.

I get these days when I wake up in the morning with a specific arabic song in my head, on repeat. I can hear the chords and the words clearly. Today was one of those days, I didn’t even wait to leave my room before putting it on, I just blasted it loudly at 8am on my phone, listening to it while simultaneously facing the bathroom mirror to brush my teeth.

I had it on in the bus too, and I was so into it to a point that I hadn’t realized I was loudly tapping my foot against the floor to the beat. I was mouthing the words, but it was so quiet in this bus, suddenly Paris seemed mute. France, in all its streets and landscaped and stretched roads and hours of commute; Paris’s millions of running, hasty Parisians seemed to make less noise than little Lebanon, six thousand kilometers away, ten thousand four hundred and fifty two little square kilometers wide, nearly six hundred thousand times smaller than France, seemed to roar through my headphones into my ears, into my nerves, into the skin that covers me.

Paris in all its distance and buzz and hurry and flood of people seemed hushed. I look at the faces around me on that bus, they were all too engulfed in their own little lives, tuning out the space with their headphones, none really concerned with the other. How it’s all the same to them. How it’s not the same to me.

You think Paris is noisy?

Have you heard Beirut on a Monday morning? Or a Tuesday Afternoon? or a Wednesday night? The answer is YesWeAllHave. People in Beirut have become so accustomed to the noise that they don’t really hear it anymore. It is only when you leave Lebanon when you start realizing how quiet the rest of the world is sometimes. Suddenly you miss listening to the endless conversations between members of your family whom you know and don’t know. The traffic cuss words and constant honking doesn’t seem that bad anymore. Strangers saluting you and asking how you are even if they do not know you enough to really like you, is missed too.

How they won’t know how much I wanted to sing this song out loud at the top of my lungs. I was going to scream. I felt different from my surroundings, and I felt like home was calling my name and I was too far to answer, but I could hear the phone ring. I hear Lebanon calling me to come home sometimes, and then I look at what’s in front of me and it’s so alien. How we find ourselves slowly accustoming to a new lifestyle in a new environment, and how from a moment to the other we realize how we are actually surrounded by people who will never really understand what it is like to be you, and to come from where you come from, and how they will never feel the rush of emotion running through you when you hear this particularly spectacular song.

At that moment all I wanted to do in that bus was share this feeling, this rush I felt. I knew they wouldn’t understand, but I hope you do now.

Star-crossed lovers

It’s getting colder by the day
It’s my second winter without you, and I miss your warmth once again
These landscapes go through in a flash on this train, but all I want to see is you and feel you around in all the spaces that surround me.
I want to hear your voice and listen to the music I’ve missed playing on my radio
I miss talking in your language
And your smell, once so familiar, once my home
The sun doesn’t hit my skin quite the same, your luminance was much more yellow, it seeped through my bones and filled me once
Once when my mornings were yours, and your evenings were mine
Once when your love filled me until I overflowed
Once when we were in sync
I miss your edges,
sharp, thin, vast, smooth
Once the sky was a magnificent blue
I wonder if you feel my absence as much as I do yours
I miss you whole and in pieces
My Lebanon,
I hope they give you love as much as you emit
I hope your warmth overpowers this cold winter weather
Until we meet again,

Always with love,