Friday, November 6, 2009


"Yalla, I'm waiting," her friend had said bluntly.
"Give me a minute, I'm leaving now" she replied, before hanging up and throwing her phone on her messy bed.
She opened the doors to her closet in search of a jacket. The wind howled outside and she could see the tiny droplets of rain flick themselves against her windows. Something warm.. Something to keep her dry.. The choices were infinite. Puffy ski jackets, smart blazers, crocheted capes and bright ponchos filled the racks, and she ran her hands along her collection of clothing until her hands stopped, feeling down the one jacket she proudly owned but never wore in public.
Gingerly pulling it off of the hanger, she inspected her sheepskin jacket. It was so elegant yet so worn out; the years had weathered the soft leather lining and matted the wool of the vintage piece, but it only gave it more character.

She slid her lean arms into the sleeves, putting the jacket on. The putrid smell of sheepskin always made her gag - one reason why she never wore it - but she craned her neck, elevating her head above the stench. Looking herself over once again in the mirror, she smiled at how ridiculously small she looked in the jacket. Like a pea in the pod, the jacket enveloped her, almost diminishing her upper body from existance. But that's exactly how she liked it. As small as she looked, she felt powerful. The shaggy wool had curled from the previous nights of rain, broadening her shoulders with rich hues of champagne, tan, and a deep chocolate brown.
Underneath the heavy jacket, she wore thick black leggings and a matching bodycon top, outlining her perfect figure that was hidden by the big beautiful jacket.
In her boots, she felt taller. With the jacket, she practically lurched when she walked, looking like a broad and strong woman with direction. In actuality, she felt as lost as the sheep that adorned her back, as cold as a child without his mother, and as frail as a praying mantis in the blowing desert wind.
Still, she walked, checking her reflection in the picture frames, in every mirror, in any surface that relayed her image back to her until she was finally out the door and into her car.

She sat in silence for the longest time after revving up the engine, and she ran her hands up and down the curly fur of her sleeves. Closing her eyes, she imagined running her hands through his hair the way she used to when they'd kiss passionately, and the way her fingers would carress the sparse hairs on his chest when he'd cradle her in his arms.
Yes, this jacket was all about him: the way it warmed her and protected her, the way the curling wool felt under the soft touch of her fingertips, the way the brown patches of color reminded her of the deep pools of cocoa in his eyes. Her love for him suffocated her the way the smell of the jacket invaded her nostrils. It was always about him. Every decision, every thought, every purchase was made with him in the back of her mind. She slowly backed out into the street and drove onto the endless highway.

'Wainik?' she thought to herself. 'Where in these streets are you? Who's house are you in? What are you eating? What are you saying?' Her fingers, which were starting to numb, grasped at the tendrils of sheep wool on her sleeve, desperately trying to absorb whatever feeling pertaining to him that the coat could bring her.
At the traffic light, she rested her head against the fogging icy window, gazing through the cloudy condesation. Her neck ached from twisting and turning in search of his car, and her eyes grew tired of straining themselves to find him. A lock of hair, a scruffy beard, a doe-like eye, a pearly smile - anything that could be him or a part of him made her ache.

A car inched closer to her, and the driver looked up at her. His large brown eyes and curling lashes gaped at her in awe - she was the most beautiful thing he'd laid eyes on, and she hadn't changed a bit. He gazed at her and she stared back at him while her stomach did somersaults, her heart fluttered, and her knees buckled. He flashed his million-dollar smile at her, and she let herself melt into the now hot sheepskin overcoat. Driving off as soon as the light turned green, she watched him speed ahead and turn into a residential area - probably going to the diwaniya.

Her coat felt brand new for the first time in the 30 years since its creation. Like the reincarnation of a lost soul that has been found, the coat seeped its liveliness into her skin as tears of joy danced on her lower eyelashes.

This is what you do to me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Wish I Was A Fly..

Just for one day out of my years of existance, I wish I was a tiny, smart, strong fly, so I could buzz over the twinkling lights of the country, past the zipping cars on the streets, through the narrow streets, and finally land at your doorstep.
I wish I could fly into your house; through an open window, an open door, or even through a keyhole large enough to squeeze me through.
I wish I could see the inside; see how colorful or drab, how luminous or dim, how animated or dull, how neat or messy, how funny or sad life is for you on the inside.
I promise, I won't be a pesky fly. I won't bother you while you're eating or sleeping or studying, or even when you watch TV. I just want to watch.
I want to watch you eat and drink and smile. I want to smell what you're eating and silently pray to God that you enjoy every single bite from the first to the last, and every sip from the brim of the glass to it's bottom.
I want to see and hear your laugh while you're watching TV or talking with your family. I want to watch what you are watching and absorb the bubbling laughter and silly snorts that escape your lips everytime something makes you smile.
I want to sit on the headboard of your bed and watch over you while you sleep. I want to make sure that the covers are tucked tightly around your strong arms and that the pillow beneath your breathtakingly angelic face is fluffed to your liking. I also want to hear you recite your mu3awethat, followed by your soft yet heavy breathing.
I want to see you first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
I want to listen to what your parents tell you, or what you tell them. I promise, I won't intervene or sting them when they say anything to hurt or bother you; I just want to listen.
I want to perch myself in the strap of your gym bag and be with you when you go to work out. I want to tuck myself in between the criss-crossed safety of your shoelaces so that I can be with you from start to finish, to make sure you don't get hurt and to make sure that you drink plenty of water. I don't care if it gets too hot or too stuffy or too smelly; I just want to be with you.
I want to ride with you in your car and listen to your favorite songs, and listen to your sweet voice singing them. I want to follow you into your diwaniya to hear what you and your guy friends talk about, and to make sure if you've had your dinner or not. I promise, I won't annoy you - you won't even know I'm there.
I just want to see, hear, smell, and touch you, and absorb everything that goes on around you.
Because maybe then I'll understand.
And maybe you'll understand how much I love you.
I wish I was a fly, just for one day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sweet Summer Heat

The ripe sunset-orange mangoes sat bunched in Tala's ceramic fruit bowl, the one that her cousin had gifted to her the day before her wedding. She read the inscription on the inside of the rim, tracing her fingers along the textured glazed paint: "To endless days, nights, and meals filled with love - Congratulations!". Tala smiled at the bold lettering, pressed her index finger to her plump lips, and touched her cousin's name. This very bowl brought her comfort every time she stepped in the kitchen; every time it was in her eyesight. The word "love" seemed to stand out more then the other words, making Tala's heart wince with pain at the thought of 7amad's recent abandon and neglect. 'Dawam,' he would sigh with exasperation every time she asked to go out with him, or tried to have a romantic evening alone. As a newlywed, asking her mother for advice was only necessary in the most crucial situations - Tala knew that her mother would very well brush off her childish complaints with a stream of retaliations - "Hatha rayal, ya 7abeebti; yeshte'3el 3ashan yi3ayshich ibra7a! La ta'6qe6een 3alaih!" her mother would say sternly.
Tala picked up a small mango - almost the size of her dainty hands - and examined its glowing leathery skin. Not a blemish in sight; not a single spot to soil it's organic beauty. A shade of red blushed itself against the crown of the orange hued mango, reminding Tala of the regality of mangoes. She pictured warm summer evenings in India, with a maharaja and his doting wife seated on plush cashmere pillows in the open air, and a silver bowl of red mangoes in between them. They would enjoy the mangoes as well as each other, lovingly and carefully, while they waited for a fresh breeze to pick up and cool them down. The sweet fumes made their way into Tala's nose, and she inhaled them far into the depths of her lungs, trying to capture the sweet scent and it’s imagery for as long as it would last.

Just then, 7amad burst through the main door and hollered "Salam" to whoever was listening, stripping Tala of her thoughts. His raspy voice echoed against the stark walls of their barely furnished villa, startling her. The firm mango escaped the grasp of her smooth hands, landing on the wooden table in an audible thud. 7amad turned his head to the sound in the kitchen, leaving Tala in awe at the sight of him. He had a tendency of doing that; the way his head would whip at the slightest sound, the way his large chestnut eyes would widen at the simplest things, and the way his pouty lips would curl into a devilishly sexy smile made Tala fall in love with him over and over again.
"Manga? Mino yayib manga?" 7amad smiled excitedly at the sight of the flushed fruits, bunched together in the bowl like a pan of gold nuggets. He hurriedly strode towards Tala, planting a hasty kiss on the side of her face.
"Ana," she replied half-heartedly. "Shloonik?" She watched him with eagerness as he plucked the biggest mango from the bunch and compared it to the size of his hand.
"Tamam; ma'3sooleen?" 7amad asked, satisfactorily rubbing the mango’s silky skin.
“La,” Tala replied as 7amad picked another mango up from the bowl. The word “love” was now in full view, bolder than ever, unveiled by the two mangoes that sat in 7amad’s palms. “Tawni yaybat’hum.”
“Mashkoora, Toota,” 7amad called over the rush of the faucet water. He ran his sun-kissed hands over the mangoes, quickly enough to wash them thoroughly as well as to enjoy them sooner. The mangoes, tightly tucked into the crevices of his palms, glistened with beads of cool water, like full breasts rising from a swimming pool. Without drying them, he adoringly brought them to his face and inhaled their scent, now magnified by the water’s touch.

Tala watched with envy as she set the table; two round plates, a large steel knife, and a two small spoons. ‘Why is it that he is so enticed with mangoes; so eager to touch them and to smell them while I – his wife – am standing here waiting for some sort of appraisal?’ she thought angrily. The stainless steel knife gleamed in the corner of Tala’s eye, luring her to pick it up and stab each and every one of the Alphonso mangoes so that 7amad could never enjoy them again. But, like a cruel joke or a painful reminder, the word “love” screamed at Tala again. ‘Love, honor, and obey,’ she would remind herself at her weakest moments. ‘Love, honor, and obey.’
He turned around from the sink, holding the orangey treasures with such care. The placed each mango onto a plate and drew back Tala’s chair as well as his, motioning for her to sit. “Taw innaas; al7een mo mawsem ilmanga!”
“Madri, 7amadi,” Tala replied with a shrug, and reached over for the giant knife, ready to butcher the fruit that had captured the ardent affection of her husband.
Before the sharp blade could graze the surface of the matured mango, 7amad pried the knife out of Tala’s hands and placed it back onto the wooden table. “Ib eedich,” he instructed, picking up the dense fruit with his two hands and tearing a small hole at the puckered tip with his teeth.
The pale orange mango pulp peeked out from under the scarlet flesh, coaxing 7amad’s lips closer to the cavity. In rhythmic movements, his thumbs tenderly massaged the side of the mango, pushing the pulpy nuggets towards the tear in the flesh. Tala watched as 7amad’s lips sucked the meaty sweetness into his mouth, chunk after chunk, careful not to let any bit of the mango escape. The bright juice trickled down his scruffy chin and dribbled down the sides of the mango’s flesh, twirling streams around his thick fingers and down his palms. Tala watched with great intent, her mango sitting patiently on her plate, as 7amad continued to bite and suck and tear at the mango’s skin with such ardor and want – she couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. He scraped every last bit of the mango pulp off the skin with his teeth, gently tugging the soft tissue against his dentures.

After 7amad had satisfied his craving, he licked the syrupy lattice of juice from his hands and fingers before reaching for a wad of tissues. “Ma kalaitay,” he said breathlessly, nodding his head at the untouched mango on Tala’s plate.
“Al7een,” Tala replied quietly, her cheeks turning a faint crimson. The nervousness-induced warmth of her hands clashed significantly with the icy cold water droplets that decorated the mango like crystals. Just as she was about to bring the mango to her lips as 7amad had done earlier, 7amad encased her hands with his and guided the mango safely to Tala’s hungry lips. Her big brown eyes pierced through 7amad’s eyes warily, trying to decode whatever mischief he was up to. With her eyes still locked onto his, she tore a bit of the mango skin away from the top with her teeth. She felt a bit of the juicy fruit make it’s way up into her mouth, thanks to 7amad’s gentle pushes. As soon as it entered her mouth, 7amad pulled the mango into his own hands and dove in for a long, passionate kiss. His tongue stroked hers, probing her mouth in search of the luscious lump of mango he knew was nesting in there. The sweetness of his lips, tainted with the traces of an early afternoon cigarette, mixed with the tropical taste of the fruit, and once found, they shared it between their warm mouths.
He brought the limp mango near Tala’s lips once again. The intensity of their kiss caused 7amad to squeeze on the mango’s body a little too hard, first causing a gush of viscous juice to spill along the feminine curves of Tala’s lips. The fragrant syrup ran down the groove of her chin and the length of her neck, pooling at the small hollow that formed at the top of her ribcage. A tiny cry of shock and delight escaped her throat, but 7amad quickly muffled the sound with the crashing of his lips against hers. His tongue traced the faint orange line that swept down her neck, and softly lapped up the sweet pulpous juice before it dried into a sticky mess. Tala reclined against the back of the wooden chair, craning her neck every which way in order to allow 7amad access to the most inconspicuous places. Another reckless squeeze of the fruit tore the opening into a wide gash, causing the bright orange shaggy pit to sail out of the mango skin pouch and onto Tala’s chest, where 7amad tried to catch it.
“7amad!” Tala squealed like a child, suppressing the uproarious laughter that she knew was to come. The pit slipped out of his fingers like a wet bar of soap, but he tried again, this time succeeding in keeping it in his grasp.
“Shhhh,” 7amad soothed Tala’s giddy fit, shushing softly in her ear. With the wet pit in his hand, he rubbed Tala’s neck and exposed chest, staining her fair skin with mango residue. The pit glided over her skin until she was swathed with fiery-colored mango pulp, and they both breathed in the heady mango scent that wafted off of Tala’s skin. Like a golden sun goddess aching to be worshipped, Tala melted at the feel of 7amad’s touch, succumbing to his every desire. Normally, she would never allow 7amad to mix passion and food, as she was taught that it was a sin to use food in an erotic manner. But today, she gave way, letting his lips gather the shards of mango mash that tickled her skin. Tala opened her eyes for a moment during her escapade, eyeing the ceramic bowl that sat on the kitchen table, laden with more mangoes for the days to come.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sorry everyone..

I know I've been a super bad blogger bes walla I'm going through a really rough time right now oo I'm trying to get myself through a few things.. So, Chicken Soup's on hiatus for a little bit.. Ed3ooli :( I really really need it..
Hugs and kisses to all of you..

Thursday, February 19, 2009

E-mail for stuff..

Hey girlies and guys :)
I created a new e-mail account for those who want to send e-mails or ask for advice or whatever the case may be. The e-mail is :)
Hope to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Grumpy Tag ;p

Tagged by 7aLeeB KaKaW ;***

1. Put a picture of any grumpy person.

2. Then Mention 3 things that are just abnormal.
- My mother's obsession with "fa5ama"
- Mit7ajbat + leggings
- Boys that haven't hit puberty yet (or probably don't even know what puberty is) hitting on girls old enough to be their mother. THIRD TIME THIS WEEK! WAI3!

3. Two things that irritate you.
- When people talk to me and ask me questions when they can see that I'm on the phone with someone else.
- When people barge into my room without knocking, and even when they see that I'm praying/getting dressed/busy with something, they still hang around!

4. One trigger to your anger.
- When akoon 7adddddi mishta6a for a 6al3a oo I spend hours getting ready and expecting the best, and two minutes before the event, the person cancels or yakser feeni in an equally distressing way.

5. Three people you can't live without.
- Mama ;* 7ayati Mama!
- Il-Semi ;*~
- Pigeon ;***

6. Two of people you don't want to see.
- Two crazy chicks that I was with in univ.. 7mdilla wishikir.. Their brains combined probably amount to 3/4 of an actual human being, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt and counted them as one person. Is that okay?
- The idiot who robbed Il-Semi :/ If I see your face I'll break it, I swear. 7alaya 7awajbich chinna a7ad rasem 3ala yabhitich with a Sharpie marker. And I'm not talking about the thin ones either. No, I'm talking about the ones they use for street tagging.

7. One of your favorite foods.
- Pizza, without a doubt. Pepperoni with pineapples willi ma ya3jeba yi6ig rasa bilferen ;p

8. Three of your favorite songs.
- 3abood 5owaja - A'6naytani Bil-Hajr ;********
- Lloyd - Girls All Around The World (Ft. Lil' Wayne) (If I don't hear this song at least once a day, I feel incomplete :* and Lloyd if you ever ever read this, I love you and I wanna be in your next video.)
- M7amed 3abdu - '3areeb Il-Dar

Tag only 5 people:
Whoever wants to do this. That means:
- You
- You
- You
- You
- You

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Alive & Well

Sorry guys, I know you're expecting a YotL post, but I had to clear my head. This post is a *very* special dedication to my uncle, Bu A7mad, who'd won a tough fight with cancer. It is a joy to have you back home, healthy and safe, and you make my heart swell with pride. Allah yisalmik oo ya7meek min kil shar inshallah. We all love you :*


Her rich boisterous laughter filled the air of our dim dining room, and I watched from the doorway as her grandeur captivated every single guest sitting at the table. The flickering candlelight skittered from stone to stone of her giant crystal peacock brooch – the one I had brought her for Christmas. Today, it is her birthday; my big, beautiful Etta is turning 48.
Holding a bottle of Pinot Grigio in my brown leathery hands, I took in the sight of her radiant mahogany skin, with her cheeks so round and full of joy, and her almond shaped eyes that twinkled, outshining the glow of the candles. My Etta is turning 48, but she doesn’t look a day over 29. She says it’s because of the cocoa butter she applies so delicately onto her face every night before we go to sleep, but I say it’s because of the laughter that never ceases to escape her raspberry-stained lips.
I love the way her bosom heaved up and down with every sweet breath she took. I love the way she daintily dabbed at the moisture that accumulated on her neck every Sunday at church, when the churchgoers would heat up the pews with every “Amen!” and “Praise the Lord!”. I love the way she hovered over pots and pans everyday at noon; I’d find her sashaying in the kitchen as if it were a model’s catwalk, slicing the bright orange carrots and stirring the thick brown gravy. Even today, her birthday, she’d managed to wake up at 7 AM without hitting the snooze button on our rickety alarm clock. I’d watched from bed, pretending to be asleep as she slipped into her favorite maroon dress; the one with the satin ribbon at the hem. She applied her make-up ever so carefully, and I fought the urge to spring up from bed and yell at her to stop – she didn’t need all that chemically infested make-up; she was beautiful just the way the Lord had created her. She spoke out loud, even though she knew I probably wouldn’t have heard her – she told me she was going to the beauty salon. Again, I had to stop myself from bolting upright and telling her not to go – she didn’t need all of those hot irons and chemical relaxers; I loved every kink in her hair just the way it was.
By the time I’d come back from the liquor store with the bottles of wine for her birthday dinner, I saw that she’d beat me to the cooking. There she was again, craning her neck over the hissing pots and pans, careful not to let the piping hot steam ruin her immaculate hairdo. I’d noticed that her nails were also done; they were pressed with blood red acrylics that I’d normally detest, but today, they looked like candy attached to her fingers. I’d kissed her hands and the nape of her neck, and she flirtatiously shooed me away, telling me that I’d have my share later on tonight.
Etta was, indeed, a one woman show. When our guests had arrived, the dining room lights were dimmed to perfection, making even the ugliest beast look like a fawn. The flame of the long ivory candles swayed from side to side along with the Jazz classics that were playing from our makeshift surround sound system. The table was set with our best china and Etta’s prized silverware. From the scent that was wafting from every steaming plate, I had known that Etta had once again outdone herself; Maple-roasted chicken with Creole spices, a seafood and sausage Jambalaya that would put the French Quarters to shame, and an endless array of sides including my favorite, buttered baby peas. Plates were laden with roasted new potatoes, sweet corn on the cob, succulent butter biscuits, and mouthwatering coleslaw. No, Jane Fonda was not a guest at this dinner, but Etta always told me that if the food doesn’t warm your heart, then it is not food at all.
Marion held up her fluted champagne glass to toast Etta’s 48 years of life, and it was then I realized that I had been standing in the doorway for too long. I quickly walked past the countless heads of glossy curls, tight braids, and nappy cuts until I reached the empty chair that was right beside my Etta’s.
I sat down and raised my glass as well, looking at my shining star with all the endearment my eyes could muster. Forty-eight years of life, my dear Etta, and we’ve only been married for two. Forty-eight years of life, and not a worry in the world has defaced your joyous demeanor. Forty-eight years of life, and you’re still as graceful as a hummingbird flittering in the warm sunshine of the South. You make life seem so effortless; not a single gray hair has sprouted in your lovely mass of curls. Never once have you complained about the Southern heat, and never once have you complained about the fatigue you’d felt after you’d collapsed in the living room.
Today is your birthday, my dear Etta, and tomorrow is your first chemotherapy session. I know you are not afraid to lose all of that beautiful hair, and I know you’re not afraid of losing weight and having your life drained of color and joy. In fact, your battle with life will probably be harder for me than it will be for you, just because I know that’s the way you are.
Today, you are enjoying your birthday to it’s fullest degree, because in your heart of hearts you are aware that this may be your last. Your friends don’t know about your sickness, because you don’t want anyone to worry – I’m lucky you didn’t keep something so serious from me as well. But that’s the way you are, my dear Etta. You’ve never stopped living, never stopped listening, and never stopped loving.
Today, I am by your side, holding your hand and feeding you a spoonful of your heavenly spicy creations. Tomorrow, I’ll be by your side, holding your hand and nourishing you with my love and energy. But always remember that even though I’m gone, the Lord is by our side no matter where we are.
I smile at you, and though I know that deep inside you are petrified, you still smile back. This is how I know that you will overcome. Happy birthday, my dearest Etta. May you live a thousand lives for the next hundred years to come.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hey all!
A very very very happy new year to all of you. I hope 2009 is filled with wonderful memories and the best luck for all of you. Allah yi5aleekum li :) Thank you for keeping this blog alive and being so supportive! I love you all and hope you all had a safe and fun new years!