I got out of the taxi and walked across the street where I thought she was waiting for me and watching me from a distance. She wasn’t. I missed call her and waited for her inside the Russian Cultural Center at 29th street.
My heart started beating fast as I am waiting. I felt that I looked very ugly, and that everything will soon fade away.
I saw her walking across the room followed by some hot chick. She was looking around looking for me. No, that can’t be true, she was with that bitch?
The latter was acting nice, and I kept looking at her while she was saying to my date goodbye. I checked her well-combed hair, her tight blouse, and the very tight pants. Her ass was about to burst in the Damascene street. And to my surprise, I was annoyed at the sound of her heels. I usually love those sounds.
Now that we’re finally alone, she looked at me and smiled. She doesn’t know why I was half an hour late, and I can’t tell her.
The next thing she did was to light a cigarette, looked at me and smiled. I tried my best to look cheerful, that today is just another day. But I found myself enjoying being cheerful. I loved the Damascene streets. I stared at people’s eyes, which was exhausting, but I think I looked at every single person passed by me and her last night.
She likes to walk ahead of me. She has a way of walking. I tried not to smile. She was putting her black jacket on. She has a way of moving. Clumsy, chaotic, and careless. Very intimidating, thrilling, and very inviting.
We both enjoy crossing the streets when the red thing is not on.
For a quiet classic unsociable old woman like myself, I rarely laugh, but I’ve learned over the years that it’s always better to put a smile on my face even when no one is joking. But here I am with her, and I cannot stop laughing. I think I laugh at every single thing she says even when she’s serious.
I was very shy last night. I avoided looking at her eyes. I tried not to touch her body while we’re sitting next to each other in the taxis and later in the front seats of the micro bus.
She doesn’t seem to have problems like mine. She’s seven years younger than me, and that freaks me out. I sometimes feel I am pedophiliac, especially when I am staring at her breasts.
On our way to her place, all I was thinking about was to make sure there’s alcohol. She made it quite clear that she wants to be “sober” with me. She doesn’t understand, that drinking alcohol is the only way for me to be sober.
We got into her room. I was very nervous. I usually sit on her bed and start babbling about social activism in Damascus. But last night I just couldn’t simply sit on her bed. My world is suddenly full of gentle unfamiliarities. Different obstacles, pretty much not ours.
I was standing in front of someone I am trying to reach but I felt enchained. And it’s hard to explain.
I started wandering in her room with a cigarette in my hand. Looking at the same stuff that weren’t foreign to my eyes.
“Razan would you please sit down? 7awaltini!” she said.
“I don’t feel like sitting”.
She played that lousy Mozart on her PC and looked at me with one of her cheeky smiles.
We laughed. Nervously, I hope.
And suddenly we started talking very fast. I thanked god Vodca was next to me. We interrupted each other, blamed each other, revealed our fears and insecurities.
“I am too old for open relationships” I finally said.
“I wasn’t really looking for one” she objected.
I envy her. She said to me the things I wanted to say to her. I can’t. I want to, but not even a Glenfiddish bottle of whisky can make me reveal how I feel. Never did, never will.
“When I cook you dinner someday, it means I care” I told her.
“That’s not good enough”.
She did it many times. She pushed her chair towards me as I am sitting on her bed. I never thought she had brown eyes before. I wish I can be in a movie so that I can kiss her and run away. I think I am being childish.
She’s not a normal human being. She’s a fighter. I have always had a thing for female fighters.
“Razan I don’t want to be one of your causes”, she interrupted my thoughts.
“Why do you think we’re talking in English?” I screamed at her.
“Cause Arabic i’s a fucked up language!”. She screamed right back at me. She really didn’t mean that.
Language is never distant from the dialectic of authority and resistance.
It’s easier to leave this place and be whatever we are somewhere else. Somewhere that claims to recognize our wishes. But will they understand our translated entities? I wonder.
See, I was sober after all.