Sunday, December 07, 2008

Shape of my Heart

"He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn't play for the money he wins
He doesn't play for respect
He deals the crads to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden loaw of a probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance"

I reached Mosul at one of April's rainy evenings. It was 2007 and I had just survived the dark gloomy nights of Baghdad that I hated. I held my bag containing all my clothes and a sum of money and my new mobile phone was in my pocket. It rained on me while I was lost between the surgical, gynecological and forensic buildings. I entered the surgical house of doctors to know that the internal medicine building is little far. I don't belong to surgery. I went out after I felt I was not welcomed in the surgical part of …. Of what?....
I went walking again in the rain till I saw a huge building out there. The road was going up a little, then going down and down more and more till that building is standing near the river. I asked a police man about the house of doctors. He asked me many questions. Some were personal. He was asking me those questions while walking slowly and I was walking with him. I thought he was taking me to the house of doctors. But he finally told me that the house of doctors lies THERE!! And he pointed to the other side. He was walking away from the house of doctors. He made my road longer. I thanked him but I never greeted him during the next months. I let him feel that I don't like him. He kept wanting to greet me, or just to have an eye contact, but he fail. Ohh yes he failed.

"He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades"

I diagnosed her easily with histrionic personality disorder with panic attacks. The female rotator whom I thought was arrogant and looking at psychiatry and psychiatrist with a small eye asked me: "how did you reached that diagnosis doctor? May I ask?" I looked in her eyes while thinking that she was making fun of me. She added after a while: "I want to learn". Well, she may be was trying to make fun of me, but her late eye contact revealed a childish frightening from my WISE EXPERIENCED psychiatrist eye deepening contact. She felt I may analyze her with my eyes. I make take her clothes off. So she took a step back and added "I want to learn". She must have remembered how her father did spank her on her ass when she tried to make fun of him. so….
I started listing the histrionic personality disorder DSM IV criteria one after the other while her eyes were getting wider and wider, bigger and bigger, astonished by my strict English accent and psychiatric terms fluency which ended in something like "….and lastly her theatrical display of emotions made her nearer to a histrionic personality disorder diagnosis than any other".

The rotator commented: "she got all that and I didn't know!!"

I liked how she was trying to make fun of me. I must have been silly. She helped me to be more aware of myself and my childish theatrical display of my little knowledge in psychiatry. I felt that this rotator was older than me. So when that lady came with her beige stylish costume and her short hair cut I asked the rotator in a heard voice: "who is this lady?" the lady heard me. Everybody heard me. I wanted to be as theatrical as could be. As silly as it could be. The rotator smiled and delayed her answer till the lady saluted the two other doctors and she even shake hands with them, a thing that doesn't happen in modern Iraq very often, and she never looked at me and went away. The rotator then told me that this lady is a nurse.
I said with a hearable sound and a theatrical facial expression: "she is a nurse??"
"yes, she is a nurse" the rotator answered and left me alone and never did talk to me really during the last week she had to work in our unit.

"And if I told you that I loved you
You'd maybe think there's something wrong
I'm not a man of too many faces
The mask I wear is one"

When I bought my new mobile phone my friend installed oxford dictionary for me in it. He added a song entitled "the shape of my heart" performed by Sting in it. He never knew that this song would be my morning alert tone for all some long time in Mosul. I woke up everyday thinking about that nurse. She always neglects me. Never greeted me. I sat next to her one day while she was talking to another nurse. She turned away giving me her back. I looked at her legs and saw some varicose veins. I thought of those varicose veins for long time. I wanted to be a varicose vein in her legs but in vain. In vian. She kept neglecting me while I was hearing "the shape of my heart" every morning.

"Those who speak know nothing
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who fear are lost"

One day one psychiatrist from Duhok started talking to me about how beautiful is the city of Ba'ashika. I asked him if he can take me there. He said the road is not safe anymore after the problems in with the Izidi cities. I asked him to bring me something from Ba'ashika. I thought he can bring me some photos or something symbolic. He brought me 6 bottles of beer. We locked the door that night. He started reading form a textbook of psychiatry while I opened my diary and started writing some lines which were going more and more primitive till I get naked in one of the poems and started playing percussions on African drums.

"I know that the spades are swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that's not the shape of my heart"

The next day he told her that I love her. She started smiling to me very often. I stopped loving her. I changed the morning alert tone. I went walking outside the hospital for some long distance till I found a huge trash bin into which I threw the black nylon bag I was holding containing my ripped diaries with 6 empty cans of beer. When I came back I saluted the police man.

Words between brackets are the lyric of the song "shape of my heart" of Sting


Anonymous said...

Beautiful piece Sami!
The technique and the depth of exploring the self are amazing.
It was unfortunate that we could not spend more time when I was in Baghdad. I am listening to your play on the Oud every now and then


Mohammed, Sheffield

saminkie said...

Hello Mohammed,

thank you for your nice words. I miss you too my friend. I hope we can meet soon and spend some long time together. Take care of yourself.


Laura said...

I second Mohammed's comments, Sami. It takes courage to let others peer into your inner world as you let us do, so freely. Thank you.

saminkie said...

I feel so lucky that a wonderful person like you Laura had peered once into my inner world. Thank you my friend.

Abbas Hawazin said...

Why did he tell her this? did he hate you?

started writing some lines which were going more and more primitive till I get naked in one of the poems and started playing percussions on African drums.

I laughed out loud at this. haha!

saminkie said...

Hello Abbas Hawazin, I'm glad that you laughed loud at that. Gad you liked it. Regarding my friend the psychiatrist from Duhok, he is a very good man who loves me alot and i do love him and miss him so much. Actually he asked me if i wanted him to tell her and i didn't refuse.

It was something that I regrets and felt that I need a policeman (or a superego) to control me more.

tracy said...

Splendid, Sami. You have so many gifts and talents. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Do you ever hear from Dr. Wissum? Is it not funny i still think of him?
Blessings, my friend, tracy

saminkie said...

Oh dear Tracy i have just send an SMS to Wisam. He is such a special person. Not strange that you have still remember him cause we all remember him always. Thank you for your nice words Tracy. Thank you Tracy.