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I'm sleepless in Beirut.

He got up from his chair and laid down in front of me. We were quiet and his kinetic gesture, a habit that I have come to know in the five days I spent living with him, called to me to move from where I was sitting. I got up and sat down beside him.

I leaned forward and we kissed. My lips entered into the chamber of his mouth and I sucked the air out of his lungs.

"Imagine you died like this!"

He smiled.

"How would you like to die? In your bed?"

"That's so boring. I would like to die doing what I love."

"Which is?"

"Come on, you know."


"Like, say if I was free-falling..."

"What else do you like to do?"

"Hundreds of things."

"Yalla,what are they?"

He must have felt cornered, nailed down. He hmmmmed.

"Tayyeb, give me seven."

Eating sushi was one of them. Number seven was surprising.

"I'd like to have a son."

"What would you call him? Or would you name him after you see him?"

"I don't know. I'd name him once I see him."

"But they all look the same when they're first born! And so ugly. Like aliens."

"Ugly? Are you serious? If I saw a baby now, I would cry."

I felt like I didn't deserve a womb. I actually felt the phantom of an inflated void in my belly. I felt it rise to my heart. I quickly tried to human myself with excuses such as "but it's only during the first few weeks, then they become adorable" or "I remember seeing my brother and sister in the hospital, they were red and wrinkled...but I loved them anyway". Like that rectified the situation. Writing it down has just made it THAT much worse.

Some people have asked me, "What is it that you want the most? What is that goal in your life?". Naturally, if I find babies ugly I should like a glossy career, laughter-glazed dinner parties, champagne bubbles in flute glasses, New York streets beneath the red soles of my Louboutins, a vintage Porsche in my garage, Danish furniture around my loft and a dozen of scruffy one-button extra unbuttoned flock of Javier Bardems ready to sail me, fly me and take me. Amen. 

A men? That is grammatically and logically incorrect. Or was that morally?

I do have to admit that I have daydreamed along those lines and I'm still young enough to think that if Faraya can have a Hollywoodian sign in their front yard, so can I - a Holy more Woody ally scripted life. But I do know better than to believe that such a dream will culminate in nothing but a large gaping Hole-in-the-wood-of-my-future-construct.

The truth is, rip me apart or believe me, my answer was and still is, "The only thing I know for sure is that I want to be a mother."

Just not yet. Most of the girls in my family have had children quite early, some at eighteen, others at twenty-two and even if that has been their personal choice, or in some cases not, uh-oh, I don't think it right at all. 

Even if they love their kids, they will tell you now that they came too early. These girls, life was harsh for them and they were impulsive, fleeing their domestic autocracy for another, fleeing the high altitudes of stacks of books for the white peaks of underwear of Mt. To-yet-iron, I feel for them. Who knows, had life happened differently for me, I could be a sleepless Um-Karim.

They might not have travelled or graduated from some honourable college or graduated at all, but they don't need any of that to give to a child. All kids needs is love.

Right. I'll buy that on a 70% sale. 

I want to be a mother because I want to do something better. To do that, I need to know what is better and I need to know what is worse. I need more time. I want to raise them to wonder, to think and judge for themselves and to be free of the current shackles of iShit. I need to learn more to teach well. But that's just me, with an empty womb and no child to know the reality of things. 

My best memory of mom and I was the time she took me on the back of a bike and while we were riding along the street, a screw came loose and the wheel rolled down somewhere into a ditch. We discovered a stream and pretty blue flowers. Her hair was lose and she wore high-waist blue jeans, and I was clashing in a yellow T-shirt and purple overalls, one tooth less behind a perfect smile. 

I learned that if she could fix a broken wheel, so could I.


  1. Love it! I think what you said about being a mother is very logical in our world of chaos and ishit :) Makes a lot of sense to me.