Looking for the writer in my childhood.

It’s 2:00 am where I am and I sip tea from a plastic cup. Nothing very special about the setting , I try to tuck in my knees into this large t-shirt stretching it and the computer screen makes my skin look blue in some places. I listen to Egyptian music on 8tracks and pretend to be elsewhere totally.
There was a time when I believed I could be everything in life yknow? A pilot , a singer , writer, an artist, explorer, archaeologist, a businesswoman  and I would imagine myself reaching heights of each profession, receiving awards and giving interviews on how to achieve success and how I got there . It’s funny . I would talk to myself on buses , while walking on the streets , I would slip into this person I will be in the future and it was so clear to me , I would explain who inspired me, what motivated me , and how I got there and how thankful I was to my parents for supporting me to an imaginary interviewer . It didn’t seem weird to me at all, because with all my heart I believed all of it to be true, my motivation and inspiration and the urge, I believed in the person I could be. I believed with time, I’d eventually evolve into those people, I was so unapologetically sure.
It was one of those times, it was winter of 2008, during one of the family vacations we took that year. Our car is crossing Qasr-alNil bridge over the Nile and I can see the entire stretch of golden lights on the other side and its faint glow on the water. The radio in our taxi almost like magic, played an arabic song that repeated uhibbuki (I love) and reeh ( wind) and just like that I was pretending a writer.
We stayed in a rented apartment that didn’t leave me any choice but be giddy at the artistry of it. Its large windows and white satin curtains that sparked contrast with its turquoise and yellow wallpapers . My mother and I spent an awful lot of time just touching and smelling all the thick scent of ancient elegance. The apartment sat in the heart of an old town , the balcony overlooked to a narrow street where people sold fruits, vegetables and bread . The first morning , I ate breakfast on the balcony watching old ladies carry bread and Eish ( kubz) in large platters on their head, men opening their tiny shops on the corner and serving coffee to one another. People, early sunshine slowly descending on each of their lives , slow breezes and the breaths they took , everything about the life they lived intrigued me, from where I sat, everything looked so painfully real .It was so overwhelming for my then tender heart, I felt the need to document these feelings and this picture of a morning that seemed so foreign yet so close to home. That night in the fear of losing these fleeting moments, I wrote at least ten awful poems and a journal entry describing each and every detail of what I saw and felt in this strange city. I slept feeling my heart so large against my ribcage, and at only thirteen years I felt larger than life.
We were on a dinner cruise on the Nile river, a restaurant called the Pharaohs , I still remember because they had waiters painted gold on their faces and body. I remember my face so wide and smiling with childish joy of seeing funny things. While my parents got lost in conversations with our guide and other people on our table, I looked around and found couples dancing to the saddest music I’ve heard but in the golden glow of the lamps and the  dark blue sparkle of the Nile as a backdrop, they seemed so happy , they undoubtedly enjoyed holding each other, I remember wondering why my parents didn’t or why so many parents I knew didn’t feel the need to hold each other like that. We left to the upper deck after dinner, I remember it had fairy lights for a roof. and I was so awed. I was so torn between the unbelievably luxurious sky dressed itself in tiny lights and the city that’s dazzling and adorned, I catch it looking in the mirror and almost blushing to Nile.
It was all around me, the thick poetry and magic of the city. I think it was then when I felt belonged in my skin for the first time, I didn’t want to pretend any more. For the first time, I knew I was one of those people who felt everything deeply and felt the need to share it, whatever way it may be. And right at that moment, I didn’t need to be more than that. That night I was a writer, and I was successful. That night, I thanked my parents for being the parents everyone wished they had, for creating opportunities and taking me places, and teaching me what it means to wonder. I didn’t need myself to be more, I wanted to be exactly that, ten , twenty years from then I wanted to be the person that wrote because she recognized feelings and acknowledged poetry in moments and places and the way light falls on eyelashes and how water sounds falling on itself and how people find pockets it the universe to safely fall.
Now years later, that’s exactly who I want to be.



7 thoughts on “Looking for the writer in my childhood.

  1. i can completely relate to once being a hundred percent certain where i wanted my life to head.
    if you like arab music, you should check out azam ali. beats antique are good too although i'm not sure if they are arab but you can definitely hear the heavy eqyptian influence.

    your blog is one the few i follow, it's beautiful ♡


  2. Thank you so much for all your warm comments, it's such a good day for me when I get these :')
    And Sarah, yes I love the music, it's so soothing and close to heart. Thank you so much I'll check it out 🙂


  3. Thank you so much for all your warm comments, it's such a good day for me when I get these :')
    And Sarah, yes I love the music, it's so soothing and close to heart. Thank you so much I'll check it out 🙂


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