A Normal Day

A normal day it is. Pigeons are landing on the street, picking the leftover grains between the cracks of the bluestones near the baker’s Steinmüller. Cold. I think. Windy. Another normal winter day. Clouds are circling in different sizes and shapes. Moving in flocks towards the same direction. White. Piercing the blueness of the sky.
A woman bids farewell to a young man after a short talk. She left shovelling her legs to run away from his sight. Nodding. Then shaking her head. Cursing or murmuring with typically
refusal gestures. Mad.
The old man opens the window. Time for his regular shift. Goggling at people with insolent curiosity.
The sun breaks the white page of clouds. Then fades.
8.00 a.m. The regular news. Then a no-comment tape is rolled. Technology Fair. Robots are dancing synchronically. White. All. 3 on each side, then a 7th leads them. They all form ahead of a dart, a 7 in Arabic letters, or two sides of a triangle. An announcement of the upcoming multifunctional mobile: 3 in 1. Two sims. Two screens. Phenomenal foldability
plus a tablet.
On FB a campaign promotes natural beauty. Janu_hairy. Join. No shave for one month. A
hashtag is circulating around some Arabic pages #No_make_up_January.

The sky is leaning on the stretching horizon. Our neighbour, the same old man, leans his
elbow on the seal of his window. Second shift. Our eyes meet. A second, two. Three. I test his patience to my audacity.
The pigeons are lurking on the roofs, coiling around themselves. The small bells are
jiggling over the door of the baker’s whenever a customer goes out and in.
I hesitate. Exhale. Burry my fist into my cheek. I ponder. There is something missing. In the space between the two extremes, we lose something. Between an utter insistence on supremacy through ‘artificial’ intelligent industry and bombastic trends of primitive ‘naturality’ we are losing something.

On FB, a girl lays on the borders of two countries. She covers herself with a blanket of snow. She dreams of a school to visit. She never has a matchstick to warm her veins. She whispers to her father: would anyone try to stop my bones from cracking? When I grow up I will invent a machine to stop the snow from burying our tent. She laughs with effort. No, no, a machine to change the fluffy feathers of snow into fish and bread.

Between the two extremes, humanity is missing. As you move to the outer circle think of the inner. Think of you and me.

Lines of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish come to my mind. I imagine his euphonic voice whispering the words and spaces in-between. Shaking my ego:

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food). As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark).

I win this time. He slams the window audibly. Small achievements count. I count them whenever I have a chance to seize them. It snows now out of nowhere. I smile. You smile.

End of a normal day.

Nuha Askar
Butzbach, Germany

*A campaign for donation: https://molhamteam.com/en/campaigns/117?

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