Meena (Part IX)

Nothing amused Darwich; not the radio nor the newspapers or the castles on the hills. His friends had tried everything to reach him, but in the face of distance, everything stands still. Darwich's relationship had taught him that, along with many other things. So a month after he disappeared wholly, when he came back talking about asking his partner's hand in matrimony, he looked like Eros set off his wings. That's what Meena said.

This interview wasn't in a studio, a hospital room or Diya's house. It was in Azhar's garden in Cairo, as Meena wanted it to be. He wore a shirt of white silk and his usual hair of Elvis Presley.

"Today is a good day;" he said as I sat down. "Badr just finished his book."
Badr writes too? I asked.
A veiled woman passed by asking for some pounds. She held a kid in her arms and a prayer in her chest that she recited.
"Comic book; he draws comics speaking in words and signs, as a way of learning sign language."

Storytelling _said Meena_ is what separates humans from other living things but also what often binds them together, and it was what all the residents of the house of wrinkles had in common. Aside from Diya's gossip and Darwich's favorite Arabic poet played in his room, Meena, Badr and Khader occasionally helped each other with words. Badr wrote his comic ideas, Khader wrote his songs and Meena wrote this.

"We pass by signs everyday; sentimental gestures, bullies judgments, a hand of someone in need... Badr's are the only ones I feel easy reading." He continued. "If my body is the only part noticed in me, if the homeless are taken to jail when found because government won't give them a sanctuary, if Darwich and his partner will never be allowed to marry, then there is always Canada. But what about MY country?"

What about it?

Meena (Part VIII)

"Forced marriage has always been accompanied with a picture of a woman, even though some men suffer from it. Though given more freedom than women; some men are very much oppressed by other men."

I was wondering about Diya's appartment now that it's been rebuilt in my vision. Meena had talked about its details, scent and trails but whom did they owe this to; who owns this?
"Diya's father is a man you might know. He lives on conflicts and states the law. He got Diya this place when he moved away for college along with big expectations to chase in their desperation for knowledge. This society has one state of security, pride and shame. I think the reason I feel familiar with many faces is because they're all the same."
Meena said as he let go of the needle and the scarf, caught a cigarette between his fingers, then proceeded to tell the story of a singer.

Khader_he said_couldn't continue college and wanted to live his dream, but was baffled by an arranged marriage that lasted a year and gave birth to a life by its end. His son_Mohammed_is now seven years old. He visits Diya's place every month on a weekend.
"He once asked his mother about his father's orientation and she warned him of asking again. But I told him 'mithli' is not a curse word."

The day had become noon as Meena told me stories in and out of tune. At times, he would forget I'm facing him and I'd only be facing his words. Blind were they and often dim. I've come to know the ruin in him and it was then all I heard.

"Enough," he said, with a face filled with covers, and a smile that he would give his lovers.
"You're like Azhar; always with a question."
Unintentionally, when Meena said that, I remembered him telling me about Azhar not accepting his sexuality; that he never accepted love for he was used to hate, until hate killed him. And I thought of why Meena related Azhar's questions to mine, because one thing I knew is that mine were scripted, but his were personal.

I drank the glass of water as we set the date for the next day, carried my equipment and ideas, and told Meena to lead the way.