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Godot's Page: Nostalgia

Godot's Page

Gatekeeper to the Theater of the Absurd

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Nostalgia

“Ya walaaaaaaaad! Yalla 3al ghadaaaaaaa, jiddak ija ya 7aywan!” “What a rude awakening,” I thought as I grabbed the nearby Kawthar bottle in an attempt to rid my throat of the God-awful Ulker cracker stick stench from the night before…those salt granules really make the smoking experience less enjoyable, and don’t get me started on the carbon monoxide induced headache that comes with them. Through the glass I gazed at the bathroom counter and saw my Anita - half full – happily returning the gesture as if to congratulate me for my inevitable inauguration into the world of Versace styled haircuts, leaving behind all un-cool memories of Marines in its shadow. My 501’s beckoned, my No Fear Tshirt signifying Eid, and as many zgortat did that morning, I put on my Black Flight jacket with orange lining on my shoulders to compliment my recently acquired CAT Steel-toe Busstar. Man do I look cool.

Walking towards the living room, I hear the theme song to ‘Lady Lady,’ at which point I decide to make a male role model of myself and rescue little Saad from his over-dominating sister. God does he need it. Commandingly, with last night’s fight at Nadia’s dancing party in mind I say “Saad! Shu bti3mal? Roo7 hott Captain Majed juwwal Betamax, hayyo bil dorj honak ya ghabi.” Striding down the hallway, my inner smile lighting me up for the lesson in guyhood I just gave, my shoulders wide, and my jacket puffed, I greet the family, so cocksure that they view me as the rebel god that I really am.

Throughout the feast, my sense of self-alienation manifests itself in the form of constant time watching. Cool guys belonged in certain places at certain times. And at 3:30, any guy worth his soul belonged in the Nadi. If I’m not playing shirtless football, I should be in an endless discussion with the shabab about the new girl in our class, and how ‘obvious’ her hint to me was as we crossed and switched positions on the dancing line.

The refusal to our lounge entry attempt reminded us all of the mu3al -18 on our carefully laminated membership cards, but the laughter in the halfway told the story of our still-in-tact confidence. Sitting on top of the bench over looking the bowling alley, M slips in a 10 Piaster Coin into the juke box and selects ‘All That She Wants’ so as to poke fun at A who wrongfully sang out ‘all manshimong’, thus destroying any chance he had with N, whom he’d been nervously chatting to down by the Pepsi machine. Noticing A’s expressions, I decide to avoid what could have been the breakdown of the Trio by immediately switching to Abu Yousef, thereby catalyzing at least one minute of the communal ritual of what is known in the West as break-dancing, but colloquially referred to as ‘rap’. My Reebok Air Pumps were in close contention with S's LA Gear light action sneakers.

On the way home, my concentration on the various opinions the taxi driver had to offer on the topic of Abu Shakoosh were cut short, in a bitter sweet moment, when I see the banner ‘Al 3awda ila al madares’ on the sign post on a local maktabeh..."Ilyoam kan fakhem," I think to myself.

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