Friday, September 19, 2014

Stars We Look At

Since my friend's coming back from the USA and we meet almost each evening and chat. Each time he got something new to show me. Yesterday he brought with him some magazines. Two of the magazines talks about Robin Williams. I like Robin Williams movies. I remember seeing AWAKENING before I knew Oliver Sacks and Dopamine. That was something unforgettable. 
My friend also brought a book and a DVD about the life of Marilyn Monroe. We talked about Elton John's CANDLE in the Wind, and Lady D, and we were smiling with joy but...
 But when we saw this next picture of Robin Williams we thought that he was pictured in a crying spell and our smiles faded for a while..
 Reading the description of the photo we knew that he was laughing to a joke. So we smiled again.
I asked my friend if he can find a picture for Monroe where she is not smiling. He laughed. I told my friend that both Marilyn Monroe and Robin Williams had suicided. He stopped smiling again. I think my friend started thinking: "How come I chose to bring things on those two who suicided?"

He looked at the other things he brought and there was Jennifer Hudson. I think he thought for a while that she is somebody who interest him, and she didn't suicide. But wait, he says to himself, her friend had.. Witney Huston...
 Finally came Dolly Parton..
 Such joy this Dolly Parton can bring....

We ended that evening listening to Dolly Parton and that was a good day...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reading Reader's Digest in Baghdad

 A friend of mine came back to Baghdad from Abroad bringing with him some newspapers and magazines. September's issue of Reader's Digest was in my hand while my mesmerized eyes were glistering and saying: "you are holding the latest issue!"

After 2003 we started seeing the used books and magazines of the US Army personnel in Baghdad including some Reader's Digest issues, usually from more than a year past, but holding the September issue in Baghdad is such a privilege.

 I was in a 2-store bus like that one in the picture above. Next to the window Hedy Lamarr is said to have invented the Wi-Fi. I thought that that was a joke, one of those silly jokes that, as an Iraqi with bad English, I don't understand from the first reading. I thought that there is some playing with words but there ain't any. I believed that there was something that I misunderstood but when I reached home and googled that, to my surprise, and to yours maybe, that is true.

Then President Obama and Carl Sagan both appeared out of the blue, Obama said: "the next great American project will be Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, while Sagan talked about the Golden Record project.

 I left Obama and Sagan wishing them success and promising that I will help in some voluntary efforts. Angela Merkel was waiting for me in a that turning street in Al-Midan sequare, central Baghdad. She was nodding her head approvingly as I was approaching her, so I accelerated my steps to reach her sooner.

Her face shined with joy as she saw me and said: "Living in freedom and defending freedom are tow sides of one and the same coin." Well, she said that while he right hand was still shaking my right hand, and our two heads were nodding to each others approvingly with love till, till Hitchcock appeared from the shadows and he stood stand still till he got all the attention he always like to get and then said: "There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it."

 I thought for a while that Hitchcock was talking about Baghdad, telling us in some symbolized coding that there might be an explosion of a bomb nearby, but nothing happened.

I greeted my friend Angela and wished her a good day.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Waiting for the Miracle

 Ah I don't believe you'd like it, 
You wouldn't like it here. 
There ain't no entertainment 
and the judgements are severe. 
The Maestro says it's Mozart 
but it sounds like bubble gum 
when you're waiting 
for the miracle, for the miracle to come. 

Today's morning was sunny more than usual. I went to work a little bit late. Took the newspaper and went to the bus. In the bus it was so hot. The air-conditioner of the bus was weak. A man from the back seats started a conversation with the bus driver. A conversation that soon turned into a verbal fight. After few minutes of silence a woman started an agitated conversation with the bus driver about the poor quality of his bus's air-conditioner. The driver kept finally quite. The woman and the man who started the two quarrels started to talk about sectarian violence with each other in loud voices.  I opened the newspaper but could not concentrate on the words. I just started looking at some pictures avoiding the first three pages. I Leonard Cohen appeared suddenly from a page and said: "Sami, I've been waiting, for the miracle to come!" and he smiled wide. I felt like I am a Moses who knows how to play an electric guitar. 

Leonard, my camarade, told me about how Philip Kenney used his words in an interview translated to Arabic in Al-Mada Newspaper in Iraq. While Leonrad Cohen started telling me a story I started nodding me head right and left for the stereo ear-pieces chanting "Waiting for the Miracle".  
 When you've fallen on the highway 
and you're lying in the rain, 
and they ask you how you're doing 
of course you'll say you can't complain -- 
If you're squeezed for information, 
that's when you've got to play it dumb: 
You just say you're out there waiting 
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

 The newspaper says something about the house of Paul Elward in France threatened to be converted to a parking. Well, that is surrealism. I think Dali would agree.  
I went to job and forgot all about my newspaper. Ended my work with reality but I still had to have lunch so I headed to that not-so-clean restaurant in the bus station and had a last lunch with reality. I took the bus back to home. 

- "Hey Lennie!", I called for Leonard Cohen but he didn't recognize himself.

- "Hey Lennie, do you know George? That George that killed you in Of Mice and Men? Killed ya so that you don't see them troubles."

Leonard kept looking at me and I don't know why his eyes were glistering in that Iraqi late evening sun....

This was written while listening to "Waiting for the Miracle" by Leonard Cohen and some of the lyrics are typed above between pictures