Thought Of The Day

If you miss writing, garb a pen (or your keyboard) and just start writing (typing) whatever comes to your mind..

Monday, October 31, 2011

No inspiration!

I haven't written anything (non-baby related) in ages, I have been posting on my family blog for a while, since I knew I was pregnant a year and a half ago! I have no time, no inspiration and I DON'T READ. I feel like this is it for me, I won't write an interesting piece ever again! Don't get me wrong, I love the mommy/wife life I have, that along with work leaves me no time to read, and accordingly no inspiration to write...
I just wanted to sit down, grab a cup of coffee, and start typing, I am (hopefully) waiting for something to spark in my brain (whatever part that isn't cramped with baby food, reservations, nursery rhymes, clients, dinner, and laundry)
Nothing is sparking... I should set aside a time every day to read, and by reading I do not mean Dr Seuss, a book a month (I used to do one or two a-week but now that is highly unlikely and unrealistic).
It is cold in the house, heat isn't working, the baby is cranky cause he didn't take his morning nap today, Jamel is at work, and I can't write to save my life. I am stuck, I can no longer write. I've moved to a new city, had the most amazing and gratifying experience I ever wanted and prayed for (my son), survived another birthday (closer to 30 now than ever, ahhh, scary), seen new places, met new people, reconnected with long-lost friends, went through some serious family issues, and still, NO INSPIRATION. I will just put the link to my family blog here and call it a day, that's the only place where I write anything now... Sad.
http://nycairobaby.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crush


Staring at you while you're deeply engaged in debates
Smelling your cologne on my scarfs after you leave
Speaking your words, believing in your ideas
I realize that certainly, I have a deep crush on you.

Watching you while you're sleeping
Listening to your heart beats
Foolish girl! I already got you!
Why do I still feel the butterflies when I kiss you?

Watching your favorite entrepreneur shows
Folding your clothes, cooking your dinners
Typing your emails, scheduling your appointments
I think of you.

Dancing with you, watching movies on our couch
Eating your delicious breakfasts, wearing your Tiffany's gifts
Enjoying listening to your various attempts at singing
Carrying your name.

How can I NOT have a crush on you
My husband?

Noha

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mirrors II



Adam came downstairs the next morning, and saw the table still set from the night before, the candles all burnt out, and the food exposed and untouched, he then realized that Layla must have made all this for the two of them. Guilt ran through his brain, while he heard his wife's food steps walking to the kids' room, he prepared breakfast and made fresh coffee, the kids came running and sat at the table, followed by Layla still in her PJ's with her hair tied and eyes shot red.

"Good morning everyone" said Adam in a loud and cheerful tone, "Good morning daddy" replied the kids, "What's all this?" Layla said looking at the breakfast on the kitchen table, "It's breakfast! what?? I can't make breakfast for my family?" replied Adam smiling, "well you haven't in like two years! I thought you'd be at work by now" Layla replied looking at the clock on the wall, "better late than never. I took the day off, thought you and I can do something together". Layla sat at the table watching Adam and the kids eat, she still felt disappointed from the night before, she wondered what has gotten over Adam! Maybe he was too hungry to wait to eat at work or maybe...", "you are not eating baby" Adam interrupted her thoughts, "baby??? is he talking to her? he has not called her that in ages" Layla thought to herself, "oh, I'm still trying to shake off sleep", "there, this should help" Adam got up and poured her a cup of coffee and laid the cup in front of her.

The kids were out the door, Adam told Layla to stay seated while he cleaned up after breakfast, she was still puzzled about his mood this morning, she noticed the dinning room table was still set from the night before, she walked over and started cleaning up silently. "I'm sorry I was late last night, If I knew you went through all this trouble I would have made sure to call or something" Adam said without looking at Layla, "It was supposed to be a surprise" Layla said almost to herself, "well, I have a surprise today, let's go to the lake and rent a boat for the day", "who? you and I??" Layla said with a surprised look, "yes, of course who else?", "now?", "yeah, let me finish up here, you go get ready" Adam said with a soft smile, there was a familiar warmth in his eyes, she walked upstairs with eye brows still crossed in deep thinking.

Layla and Adam sat in the car alone for the first time in months, She wore a simple white and light green dress, bringing out her eyes, Adam noticed that right away and told her how beautifully her eyes sparkled that morning! "normally you'd be preparing dinner by now ha?" asked Adam, "dinner? it's 9 am! no, NORMALLY I'd be on my way to the book club", "what book club?" Adam asked, "the book club I've been a member of since last June" said Layla with a sharp tone, "oh, how could I not have known about that?", "I told you about it when I first joined them, you said that should be fun as long as I am home on time to make dinner", "I said that??? was I serious?" Adam asked in astonishment, "yeah, you even added (why can't you just read books at home)", "wow, I'm sorry I've been so...so...", "Selfish?" Layla said trying to help, "I was going to say so distant, but yes, selfish as well", "okay" Layla said and smiled shaking her head not understanding where this was going. "So what book are you guys reading now?" Adam asked, "The Awakening", "Ah, the always intriguing subject of infidelity!", Layla laughed and said "not sure you can call it that though, after all, Edna never REALLY cheated", "She wanted to" Adam replied, "but she never did", "I wish she found another way out than the one she took though", "me too" said Layla staring at the road ahead.

The lake looked so peaceful and sparkling under the morning sun, there was no one there but them, they rented a little boat, and hopped on, Adam took the wheel and drove off to the middle of the lake, and stopped the boat, and laid on the deck staring at the clouds, "now what?" asked Layla looking down at Adam as he laid next to her, "now we watch the clouds and listen to the water", "what is all this?" Layla asked, "don't ask darling, just, enjoy it", "but I don't understand...", Adam grabbed her back and pulled her closer to him saying "Isn't it beautiful today?", "yes it is" Layla said with a laugh at Adam's childish respond. Too many thoughts were running through both their heads, Adam thought of dozens of things he wanted to say, should he tell her about Nadia, could he? Layla thought of the possibility of this being some guilt he was feeling about something! They both laid there in silence for a few minutes, then Adam Brook the silence looking in Layla eyes and saying "I just missed you, I miss us" he reached for her hand and held it in his, Layla's eyes danced with tears as she said in a whispering tone "I do too". Adam kissed Layla hand and remained holding it as they both just laid there staring at the clouds.

Noha Elsewaify
March 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We are the world

The song is playing in my head none-stop, I watched the new one last night, Wyclef's part touched my heart, but something was missing, I loved the idea of different backgrounds and music styles, but, the different music style isn't really all that musical! the older version was very smooth, it was ONE, the whole song touched me and made musical sense, the new one, well, I like some T-Pain songs, but... and Miley Cyrus???!! I felt so old last night! I immediately you-tubed the older version and sat there listening to it and found myself comparing the artists, which is not at all fair I know. Anyways, something about Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, and Michael Jackson with Diana Ross made more sense than Akon, Justin Bieber and Nicole pussycat with lil' wayne. It's only my opinion though, the cause is really what matters at the end of the day, and helping Haiti is very important right now, so please, download it, visit Itunes.com/wearetheworld. All proceeds will benefit earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti.
On a happier note, the winter olympics opening ceremony was quite impressive, I love the song "hallelujah" but not sure it was the right place and time for it, but everything else was pretty much impressive and uplifting, except when the Estonian delegation came out and I realized there is no Egyptian one! Loved Bryan Adams and Sarah Mclachlan. Seeing the Iranian delegation was nice as well, so yeah, last night was a good night.
I also went and saw "Wolfman" not much to say there, whatever you expected this movie to be, it is. And speaking of movies, I watched "Princess and the frog" last weekend, a lot to say there, first, it felt like there was no magic whatsoever, the movie had all the elements movies "should" have I guess, songs, side kicks, a villain, and a happy ending, these all make a good movie, but not a Disney movie! Magic is the main ingredient in Disney movies, and that movie had none, unless you consider Voodoo magic, which brings the second thing that bothered me, the whole voodoo and "friends on the other side" concept was a little too creepy for a children movie, it was too creepy for me! yes all villains have magic, and use it for their evil plans, Ursula and Jafar used were pretty evil, and that terrifying witch from Sleeping Beauty, but those black shadows creeping across the streets were just a little too much for my taste, a lot like the end of "Ghost", you knwo the part when the traitor best friend dies, very scary! Also the whole poor-girl theme was a bit too much reality for supposedly a fairytale movie, I like the concept of a female heroin working hard to get what she wants, not waiting for a man to come and kiss her saving her life, but, why a waitress? I am sure Disney could have done better with the independent girl theme, Mulan accomplished that pretty well I thought. And why a brook prince? whoever thought of the brook prince idea? and in this movie specifically? really???! A hard-working waitress, and a brook womanizer prince, REALLY?
Anyways, maybe I'm too harsh, but I had such high hopes and expectations for that movie, I'm a sucker for Diseny, I quote "Ariel the little mermaid" daily! Watched Beauty & the Beast over 20 times, and even have Disney sing-along-songs on video tapes, I just expected to be swept off my feet, instead i was bored out of my mind. Well, must end on a positive note....Oh, for Valentine's day my husband and I are staying in and he is making me dinner, I'm looking forward to that, we do not really celebrate it, but if all the lovers around us are celebrating and we are not, what does that say about us? so enjoy your loved ones everybody, and don't eat too much chocolate, and for all of you single people, PARTY LIKE IT'S 1969.

Noha
February/2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mirors

A Walk alone is always good after a long, tiring day. It was a cold winter night, rain was pouring with an echoing sound, his thoughts clashing in his exhausted brain matched the echo with an even louder noise! Or at least it seemed so to him. It was nearly 3 am. Nobody else was in the street, except for a stray, skinny kitten, and the moon.

The rain began to pour even harder, through the darkness and the raindrops, a blue sign that read "Mirrors" caught his eye, he ran towards his salvation, the sound of his shoes splashing in the water was as loud as his heartbeats. The moment he walked through the door he felt as if he's stepped in another world, it was warm and empty, as if it was waiting for him. He sat at a corner table and ordered a coffee. "Do you have any cigarettes?", "yes, there you go" the boy said offering him a cigarette. Funny as it is, he felt as a boy getting a long-desired toy, his wife doesn't let him smoke in the house, so he's given up smoking since they got married. It's been seven year. He stared at the cigarette for a minute or two, fantasizing about that first inhale he's about to take… and then he put that cigarette between his lips, lit it, closed his eyes, and inhaled.

A tall, slim woman in a long, purple coat rushed in, she closed her umbrella and brushed off some raindrops off her coat, she had soft, red hair, and a pale skin. He watched her take off her coat, and order a cup of hot tea, she was wearing a deep red dress, it reached slightly below her knees, she had long, smooth legs, and a beautiful figure. Her face was covered with quiet an amount of makeup, from her dark mascara, to her dark, red lipstick. "What was a gorgeous woman like her be doing there at three Am, and on such a cold and lonely night?" he wondered!

"Do you like what you see??" she asked him in an aggressive, angry tone, "oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to stare. You just reminded me of someone I used to know" he said in an apologetic tone, "oh really? And who would that be?" she said carelessly throwing her long, red hair back, "someone that's not there anymore", "I'm sorry" she seemed embarrassed of her playful attitude, she stood up, grabbed her cup and approached him, "I'm Nadia" she offered him her manicured hand, "nice to meet you, Nadia, I'm Adam". She sat herself on his table, crossed her legs and sipped her tea.

For a couple of moments afterwards he seemed lost in his own thoughts, she interrupted saying "a rough night ha?", "yeah, I had a stormy argument with my wife, can't get myself to go home yet", "I was talking about that heavy rain" she said and smiled, "oh…that too", "what did you argue about?", he was altered by her rude question, and even more by the fact that she didn't look like she realizes that it was, "it's just not the same anymore", "you look kindda young, how long have you been married?", "seven years, how about you?", she laughed a loud, flirty laugh and said, "who me??! I've never been married, and never want to be, it's too much heartache and responsibility", "you got that right".

Soon enough, the morning came, the sunlight softly entered the street outside, and shortly made it to their table. He stood up and said "I guess it's time to go home, it was nice meeting you, goodnight, or should I say good morning?" he said with a blank look on his face, "just say, see you later", "bye" he said, shook her hand fast, and left

Reaching his house, he saw his two kids getting on the school bus, they didn’t see him, he turned his key, opened the door and walked in. The house was clean and quiet, he opened the bedroom door softly so he wouldn’t wake up his wife, her dark hair covered half her bright, exhausted face, she smelled like fresh bakery, God how calm, and peaceful she looked. He slipped under the covers without changing, the bed was warm and inviting, so what if he missed one work day? He’s been on time for over nine years now, he’s entitled to miss a day if he feels like it.

She sat there at the café’ staring at space for a moment or two after he left, she didn’t wanna go to that empty apartment again, she’s scared of being alone, loneliness can kill you slowly. “I’m sorry Miss, but we’re gonna close now, you can come back in one hour, we’ll be open again” the boy said, “how much do I owe you?” she asked in a hostile tone, “that’s okay, the gentleman has already paid for both of you”. She took her umbrella and her coat and left.

Lyla woke up to find her husband asleep next to her in his full clothes, he smelled like cigarettes and coffee, she sat there staring at him, after a while she left the bed and went to take a shower. The water was so hot and relaxing, she closed her eyes and let the water wash down the kids, the stress, and the bitterness of the argument from the night before. As she drank her coffee she wondered how her life came down to this? She always thought she’d live an exciting life, her friends always thought she’d be the happy, successful one. School was her fame time, she was the center of attention, her strong character made her the teachers’ pet, and the group leader, as her long, dark hair, green eyes, and flirty attitude made her the boys’ out-of-reach fantasy. How did it all come down to this? The kids are all that she’s got, her 5 year old boy was a sweetheart, and the 4 year old was the prettiest little girl in the neighborhood, she loves her kids, but that’s not all, is it? Something’s missing, she is not happy, a tear fill in her coffee, so she got up, and threw it down the sink, along with her disappointment, she got dressed and went to the supermarket.

The dinner was set on the table, the smell was so good, Adam came down to find his wife sitting alone on the table waiting for everybody to join in, “where are the kids?”, “washing their hands” she said without looking at him. “I made a pretty painting this morning, mom, it was so pretty that the teacher put it on the wall”, “you ‘painted’ one honey, not made one, you don’t make paintings”, the boy looked very disappointed and ate silently, “that’s great son, what did you paint?” Adam said trying to save the situation, “a cow and a tree and a dog”, “nice, maybe you can ‘paint’ another one so mom could hang it on our refrigerator”, “can I mom?”, “of course baby, I’d love that” she said and kissed him on his forehead, “now eat you dinner before it gets cold”.

“I have to get a cat or something” Nadia said to herself walking in her cold apartment, “a cat would defiantly keep me company”. She went straight to take a bath, filled her tub with warm water and her favorite French perfume, she added some moisturizer, and lit a few candles. As the water fill, she took off her dress and stared at her own reflection in the mirror, she was a beautiful woman, and she knew it. Lying there in the tub she thought of that poor, miserable man from that night, how sad it must feel to be in an unhappy marriage, and she’d know, she often heard her mom crying through the bedroom wall, she used to watch her tears fall in the side mirror, as she, the child, was in the back seat, it broke her heart every time. “I wonder how his wife looks like? She’s probably one of those women that let themselves go, fat and all messed up, do they have any kids? Children are such a disaster to one’s looks, they ruin your figure, your hair starts to fall, your skin all exhausted”. She took a couple of handful of the warm water and started throwing them down her back, “if I ever have a daughter, she’ll be the prettiest little girl alive, she’ll have my hair and my nose, maybe she can have her father’s skin I’m too pale” she paused at that thought, she couldn’t think of any man with a nice skin, she just couldn’t think of any man, there was no man, a tear fill in the water and took her mind of the thought, she laid back her head, and stared at the ceiling.

“You know, you could have been much nicer to your son this evening” Adam said to his wife as she was reading a book in bed, “and what makes you such an expert? You barley know your children, I’m the one who has to make sure they speak properly, I’m the one who has to make sure they eat properly and behave like human beings”, “they’re not yet human beings, they’re still kids, Lyla”, “then I suppose you’re still a kid too”, “what’s is that supposed to mean”, “it means whatever the hell you want it to mean”, “is that gonna be the end of all our conversations?”, “ha, what conversations??!”, “listen, I’m trying to talk to you and you’re being so unbelievable”, “am I? That’s just great, and what do you call your coming home at 7 am this morning?”, “I was out on a walk, I needed the fresh air, I felt that I was suffocating in here”, “a walk and a cigarette” she said, turned off the light, and turned her back to him. Both of them laid awake almost all through that night, their backs to each other.

Her short, lavender skirt, white, silky blouse, the wind running through her long, red hair, the high heels, the lipstick, it all made everyone on the street turn, look, and stare, she loved that, although she always pretended that it annoyed her, but it didn’t. “You’re late again, Nadia” her boss said as she walked in his office, “I’m so sorry, the traffic was…”, “never mind, you’re lucky you look as good as you do in the morning” she laughed out loud, but his remark shook her to the bone, that’s all she was, something good to look at, “do you want me to get you anything, sir?”, “yes, my morning coffee, sugar”. Passing by the coffee machine she overheard two women talk about her “yeah, she comes in 25 minutes late and she gets away with it”, “of course, cause she can, she probably already paid the price last night”, “I don’t really think she’s sleeping with him, I think he just enjoys looking up her so-called skirt, or down her so-called blouse, though he doesn’t really need to look down, there’s not much left to peep at, it’s all out there anyways”, the women laughed, and went their separate ways. She gathered herself together, made the coffee, and took it to the boss. Just another cup of coffee on another day.

Adam went to buy the birthday cake, his little girl was really the apple of his eye, he went to 3 different stored to get her one with “the little mermaid” on it, they invited about 30 guests for that birthday. Meanwhile, Lyla was home making appetizers for the big night, the kids helped too. By six pm his parents and hers were already there, they got the kids a bunch of lovely toys and candy. “Can you be any slower? they keep asking about you”, “well, excuse me for wanting to look good for, it takes a lot to clean up after five hours in the kitchen”, “you look lovely, honey” he said softly and kissed her on the cheek, she was so touched by his tenderness, she smiled at him, his heart pounded for that long-forgotten smile, just like the old days, they stared at each other for a moment, “mom, grandpa is asking about you, he said if you don’t go down now, he won’t give you any chocolate”, “ok, let’s go baby” she said and gave her husband her hand, when they walked in the room her dad said “here comes my princess” and stood up and gave her a big hug. The rest of the evening was fun, a lot of kids, a lot of noise, a lot of food, and a lot of laughs, “you look nice, Lyla, where did you find this dress” her best friend asked, “you won’t believe it, I got it on sale from that mini mall down the road”, “well, nobody can wear it like you do, I wish I look as nice as you after seven years of marriage”, “you are still charming after 3 sweetie”.

When blowing the candles Adam stood behind his wife holding her, he was proud of how beautiful she looked, and how much effort she gave into the party, their daughter blew her 4 candles and everyone clapped, they both kissed her, then all the kids ran out to play. Later, a cousin offered Adam a cigarette “no thanks, when we got married, Lyla told me that she won’t let me smoke in the house, so I quit”, “so your wife made you quit”, “well, she used to know how to make me do anything” Adam said with a sigh, “not really, I used to think I know, but now I’m old enough to know how well you can let me down” Lyla said in a bitter tone, while looking at her husband, then turned to the friend and continued “I caught him smoking the other day”, everyone was silent for a moment, then his mother said “thanks for the lovely evening, Lyla, this was fun”, “oh, it was nothing, thanks for taking the trouble of coming all the way for her birthday, that made her very happy, all of us really”.

When everyone was gone, Lyla went to the bedroom leaving all the mess till the morning, she put on her sweats and washed of the makeup and the party, she was already in bed when Adam walked in, he silently slipped in, both said nothing, then after a few minutes he said “so, I let you down?”, she was surprised he remembered something that she had said, “and what’s with that ‘thanks for coming all that way for the birthday’ that you said to my mom, it’s her GRAND DAUGHTER’S birthday”, “what are you talking about? I was trying to be nice”, she was surprised by the absurdity of what he was saying, “and how long have I been letting you down?”, “since we had our first child”, “funny, I think of the exact same thing, but in my head, it’s you who let me down, you who completely threw everything away, your baby was all that mattered, I was nothing”, Lyla sat up and looked at him and said “and you did nothing, you left me here with all the work, you continued with your life and your friends as if nothing has changed, and when you came home, you expected me to be all anxious to see you, and throw myself in your arms, forgetting that I have been wearing myself out, for your house, your son, and you”, Adam sat up as well “don’t say you wear yourself out for me, for your son, sure, your house, but not me, I was the last on your list, I used to be the first, remember?”, “no, you weren’t the first on my list, you were my list, all I had was you, I quit my job, my social life, all for you, you were all that I have, but now I have our children too, our home, I can’t keep up anymore, I’m a human Adam, don’t you remember what that’s like?” her tone louder and angrier, “well remember that I never asked you to give up anything, and if I recall correctly, you were glad to give them up’, “well, I was a naïve, fool, I was in love”, “you were in love??!” they both paused, then in a lower voice she said “do you even know why I told you not to smoke in the house? Because I figured out that it will make you quit, and I wanted you to live forever, cause I couldn’t imagine my world without you… and not for the kids, not so that you’d b there for them, we didn’t have any kids back then, I wanted you there for me, and you didn’t get it, you just don’t get it, now you can smoke two packs a day for all I care”, “what are you saying? You don’t care anymore?”, “no, you don’t care” she concluded in a low tone, and then turned her back to him.

The next morning Adam was late for work, he didn’t get any sleep, driving to work, he thought of that red-haired woman from the café, he wondered how she was doing, he didn’t even know why he thought of her, what was her name? Something Russian, Nadia, that’s it, Nadia, he wondered if he’d ever meet her again, he’d ask her how she was doing! Weird as it is, but she didn’t look happy, she was very beautiful, but sad, well since he’s late anyways, he might pass by that café, maybe she’s having breakfast! He took an exit and drove to the café.

“Good morning, sir, I’m on time today”, “yes, I see that, how come?”, “I woke up thirty minutes earlier”, “well, it’s fine as long as it doesn’t affect the way you look every morning” he said and winked at her, she smiled and ached, “should I make your coffee now?”, “you know what, since you’re early, why don’t you go the extra mile this morning, why don’t you be a doll and go to that café down the street, and get me breakfast, sugar?”, “sure”, she took his money and went.

Adam sat at that same corner table drinking tea, she wasn’t there, but since he was, a cup of tea would reduce his lose! He sat reading the paper when he heard “hi, it’s you again” he looked up and there she was, in a pink dress, and all that red hair and lipstick, “hi, how ironic for us to meet again like this, Nadia, right?”, “yeah, and you’re Adam”, “yeah, how is it going?”, “great, and you?”, “wonderful, why don’t you sit down?”, “well, I really shouldn’t, I’m getting breakfast for my boss”, “wow, doesn’t that annoy you when they ask for such things? You shouldn’t get breakfast to anyone, matter of fact, breakfast should be brought to a woman like you” he said and smiled, she felt flattered and said, “ok, what the hell! Let the bastard wait” and they booth laughed.

There was something about him that captured her heart, it’s not his looks, he’s not that good looking, he is handsome though, can’t be his dark eyes, cause she always fill for bright eyes, it could be his sense of humor, or maybe his tenderness, somehow he had a fatherly warmth around him, it diffidently has a lot to do with the way he treats her, not because she looks the way she does, but for who she really is, although they just met, but he seemed to know who she really is, and respect it, one thing for sure, it’s not that ring on his finger.

“I’m gonna leave now, I gotta go to work, besides, the bastard must be starving” he said smiling as he pointed, with his eyes, to her boss’ breakfast on the table, then stood up, “yeah, you’re right” she said smiling, then she stood up and said in a low tone “wanna take my number, maybe next time you’re coming down here you could give me a call!!”, he was taken by the suggestion, but not annoyed, not at all, he looked her deep in the eye and said “I’d love that” he remained staring into her for a few moments, she trembled a bit then said “it’s 555-7676”, “I won’t forget it” he said and gave her a charming smile, he then rushed out the door, and away. For a minute or two she stood still holding her boss’ breakfast, then she took off, “I’d love that, and I won’t forget” he was such a nice gentleman!

Adam arrived home late that night, he didn’t want another confrontation with Lyla, as he walked in the bedroom door she took her eyes of her book, and gave him ‘the look’; “it’s eight pm”, “so??”, “so??!! You’re three hours late! We had dinner alone”, “what do you mean alone? You just said it, ‘we’, you ate with the kids”, Lyla shook her head and continued reading her book. He changed his clothes and went to bed without anymore words, “so, do you wanna tell me where you were?”, “I don’t, but do you wanna know?”, she got furious and said “yes, I’d like to know”, “we had to work late tonight”, “couldn’t you have called to tell me that you were going to be late”, “why???! I thought that we settled that last night, you don’t care, right?” the minute the words came out of his mouth, he knew how harsh they were, but she couldn’t see it on his face cause it was turned the other way, she swallowed his cruelty, and turned the off the light..

Lying in her bed late that night, Nadia felt weird about the whole thing, Adam was often on her mind, more than a married man should be, and what’s with that giving him her number idea? What was she thinking, or what was she not? The guy has a wife somewhere, maybe kids! He did say that he argues with his wife a lot, she has to be a stupid woman to drive such a nice man away. “She probably married him for his money” she thought, “he doesn’t look that rich, but he looks like he’s doing well, maybe it was one of those settling marriages, poor Adam, looks like she treats him really bad! What woman would do that? She must be a heartless bitch” she said out loud, “If I was her, I’d take care of him, yeah…if I was his wife, I’d make him happy” she thought, then went to sleep.

Lyla was making breakfast for the kids the next morning, Adam noticed she didn’t make any for him, she was still mad, she doesn’t have the right to be, after all, she’s the one who said she didn’t care anymore. “You take the kids to school today, I’m too tired”, “but I’d be late for work, you’ve nothing else to do”, “yeah, I have nothing else to do, but you’re taking them to school”. Adam was mad at her childish attitude, but he dropped the kids off on his way to work, as soon as he arrived to work, he looked around, and after he made sure nobody was close, he picked up the phone and dialed Nadia’s number, “hello, Nadia? It’s Adam from the.., “I know who you are, I’m so glad you called”, “good, hmmm”, “listen I gotta go to work I’m already late, but, you wanna meet me at the café at around lunch time, one or so?”, “yeah, that will be great”, “alright, see you then, bye”, “bye”. Adam hung up and sat there talking himself into how ordinary and casual what he just did was, it’s not like he’s having an affair, not that Lyla would care if he was, besides, Nadia isn’t that type, she’s got more respect for herself, she wouldn’t, neither would he, then he worked away the hours till lunch time, till he meets her again.

“I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m going crazy” Lyla said to her best friend as they were sitting in the latter’s kitchen, “I try talking with him, but we always end up arguing or yelling, it’s like we’re two strangers, strangers who don’t even like each other, they simply remind each other of an long-forgotten lover or something” she let go a tear and sipped her coffee, “well, maybe you should try finding out if something else is bothering him”, “what else?”, “I don’t know, did anything change in his routine lately?”, “well, he got home late a couple of times”, “how late”, “like three, four hours, once he stayed up all night” her friend had an uneasy look on her face, but said nothing, Lyla then said “nooo, he wouldn’t, he’s not the type”, “what do you mean he’s not the type? He’s a man, isn’t he? Don’t get me wrong, I love Adam, but I’m just saying, if a man can’t find comfort home, he seeks it elsewhere”, Lyla drifted away with her own subsections a bit, her friend felt for her and tried to ease her pain “you know what, you’re right, Adam is a good father and a loyal husband, how about this, why don’t you bring the kids over here tonight, and plan a nice evening for the both of you alone?”, “that doesn’t sound so bad, I’ll do it, I’ll call him as soon as I get home, and tell him not to be late, I’ll say his parents are coming over or something”, “sounds good”. The two best friends went on discussing other things, but Lyla’s mind was all busy with plans of what to do when Adam gets home.

Nadia was so thrilled by his phone call, she figured, now that they’ll meet for lunch, she’d probably be late returning to work afterwards, besides, she wanted to take a little more time fixing herself, so, she called in sick, not that her presence is that important, or anything, let someone else bring him the damn coffee. She went shopping for some food, the café’s food isn’t that nice, they might just come back to her place, after all, it’ll be midday, and he’s a respectable man, not a big deal. She got fresh flowers, a couple of vases, scented the apartment, took a bath, wore an exciting, red dress, manicured her toes and nails, she must have really liked Adam.

“Why are you standing in the street?”, “waiting for you, hi, how are you?” Adam was a little puzzled, but more enchanted by how pretty and sexy Nadia looked, “I’m fine, I’m very fine, how are you?” he said smiling, “I thought, you know, since it’s lunch time, and the café’s food isn’t all that, I prepared lunch at my apartment, it’s right over there” she said softly and pointed to an apartment in the building across the street, Adam looked where her finger pointed, and wondered what she was thinking!! but whatever it was that she was thinking, he had NO idea what to say to her, then she said “I promise you won’t be late for going back to work” she said as she grabbed his arm smoothly, and started walking towards the apartment.

Later when she arrived home, Lyla picked up the phone and called her husband at work “Adam hasn’t got back in the office since he went out for lunch ma’am, but I’ll be glad to tell him to give you a call back as soon as he walks in”, “oh, thanks very much” she put the phone down, and struggled a bit to wash off the negative thoughts, she started preparing for that nice dinner, he likes pasta, she’ll make pasta, and chicken, it’s 4 o’clock! He’s been out for lunch for over three hours! Maybe she’d make a cake too, he likes cake, he might be on a business errand or something, but wouldn’t the secretary know?

Both tables were all set, both women hoped, and all three hearts pounded. Lyla sat alone, in all her glamour, waiting away her doubts, and her husband. Nadia sat across the table from the husband, hoping he enjoys her cooking, and her. “it’s quite a late lunch” Adam said, trying to break the tension in the air, “yeah, it’s an early dinner”, “I suppose you didn’t go to work today” Adam said while examining the obviously, newly decorated apartment, and the full set table, “no, I didn’t, I thought since it’s your first time over, the apartment should look it’s best” she said giggling, he, on the other hand, didn’t look as happy, what does she mean “the first time”, and why did she go through all this trouble? She missed a work day for this! Spent a decent sum of money, and time, what could she be thinking???!! Nadia stood up, moved across the room and turned on some music.

In the meantime, Lyla was standing in front of the clock wondering where Adam was! She turned around and faced an actual-size mirror, she looked good, in a long black dress, and simple makeup, what’s this, wrinkles? She took a closer look, she had wrinkles, she’s thirty two and has wrinkles! Damn those years, they took away her beauty, her youth, and maybe her husband. She battled with a persistent tear not to mess up her makeup, she walked away from the mirror, turned on some old jazz, and sat again on the table, waiting.

Adam watched Nadia take the dishes to the kitchen, she reminded him of Lyla, he loved Lyla so much, he loves her, it’s just not the same as it used to be when they were in school, he caught his own reflection in a mirror across the room, who was that man? A middle aged man, in a strange woman’s apartment, on a Tuesday afternoon! The children would be so ashamed if they knew what their father was doing, his parents, his friends, and Lyla! She’s been with him through a lot, obstacles and drama, and at some point, through the happiest memories of his life, actually, She was the happiest memories of his life, the green-eyed girl from the art class.

As Nadia was washing her hands in the bathroom she was staring at the running water, what a man, he never made a move, didn’t talk down to her, he respected her, she’d love to cook him dinner every night, to watch him joke around and speak of the world, to dress up for him when he comes home from work? But what is the point? If every one of those nights he goes back home, to his wife, while she cries herself to sleep? She looked up, then smiled to herself in the mirror, a sad smile, and walked out.

When Nadia walked in the room, Adam was standing by the door, with his jacket on, “I’m sorry, I can’t”, he said with sorrow in his eyes, and an apology in his voice, she smiled softly and said, “I know” she walked up to him and stood very close as she held his hand for a goodbye, they stayed in each others eyes for a moment or two, then, he walked out, and away. She sat on the floor behind the door for a while, smiling through her tears.

Lyla stared at her husband as he walked in and across the room, he looked so wrapped up in his own world, “you’re late” she said, “sorry” he didn’t even look at her, not knowing what words were coming out of his mouth, and she knew that too, “no, you’re not”, “please, I can’t do this again, not tonight, can I just go to bed?” he said and walked on to the bed room. Lyla sat still on her table, what just happened? He didn’t notice anything! He didn’t even look at her! He walked straight through her! She began eating the pasta and the chicken, swallowing her tears down along.


Noha Elsewaify,
April, 2006.

I love New York

It was not the perfect beginning for my first trip to New York City, the night I arrived was freezing cold, and my ride (now my fiancé) was 25 minutes late picking me up, stopped by to say hi to his mom he said! I was so angry and cold that I had him drop me off my hotel and leave, a move I shortly regret as I was dying to go explore the city I’ve always dreamed about, but was too scared to go walking its streets alone at night! So like spoiled kid, I called him to come and pick me up again, and he did.
I was staying at the Hyatt Manhattan, so the minute I got out of the hotel door, I was in “The New York”, the tall, enormous skyscrapers, the bright lights, the hustling sellers, the rude and always on-the-run New Yorkers, the loud noises of police cars, yelling people, car horns, beautiful. Right next door to the hotel was Grand Central Station, to my company “a native new Yorker” the trains were his mean for daily commute around the city, nothing exciting, to me, it was AWESOME, I scream like a kid a candy store “I wanna go in there”, “the train station??!!” he said with a confused look on his face, “YES.” and we go in.
Mad people everywhere, running in all directions, I’m in my own little world remembering all the New York movies and books that I’ve seen and read, inhaling it all in. We walk to “junior’s” or what he calls “the best cheesecake place ever” at the bottom floor of the station, I’m thinking to myself “In Egypt, I don’t think we have cheesecake stores at our train stations, and if we do, not sure I’d wanna try it, but why not?”, we go into this tiny store, and I stare at all the delicious-looking and colorful cakes they have on display, we get a little piece, and OH MY GOD, it truly was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had, just amazing, Junior is a senior in my book.
We devoured that cake so fast that we were done before we paid for it! After a little bit more exploring of the station, we walk out of there, and head directly to Times Square, I’m still in a New York state of mind, Frankie and Streisand’s New York songs keep playing in my head, while my eyes see flashes of Woody Allen’s movies. People of all races, colors, and cultures are walking down the streets like no where I’ve seen yet in my life. I’m delighted by the sight of Halal food carts around the corners, shawerma, gyros, falafel, kabab…etc. they’re all closed as they only operate mornings serving breakfast and lunch from 8-5 for the city’s hustling residents, I’ll be at this street at 7 am tomorrow morning anyways.
The famous New York Bohemians grab my attention, the artist in me have always fantasized about moving to the city, write, paint, take pictures and work on my dreams, as they all are. They wore Colorful clothes, dirty sometimes, but always unique. My friend points to his high school which happens to be the same school Al Bacino and Robert De Nero went to as well, among many other well known performing artists he added, he said it so casually like it’s no biggy! I went to a school where “Marwas” and “Dinas” went, not Al Bachinos! Not even Medhat Sarwat went to any school I’ve ever been to. He told me stories about meeting all sort of artists on the street, coffee shops, museums, and at school, Alec Baldwin, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, “you met Woody Allen?” I say with amazement, “yeah, he’s racist though, not all that talented I think, and never casts any black people in any major roles in his movies” my friend declared, now that he mentioned it, I don’t recall seeing black people in Allen’s movies, interesting! The smoke coming from underneath and spreading in the air makes the whole thing seem too much like a movie scene, some sort of special effects that I thought was “so cool”, my friend points out to me that it’s garbage and pollution smoke! I still thought it was cool. We finally get to Times Square, the lights are so bright, the signs are so attractive, the people (mostly tourists) are cheerful and loud, the musicals billboards are all over the place, the amazing energy, the rush, the rush is just incredible.
I saw both sides of the city, Spike Lee’s dirty, rude, rough, cruel provocative and controversial side of it, and Streisand’s romantic, dreamy, sunny, and musical side. That night it was so cold, that my finger tips and toes were literally numb! Everyone had what looks like their entire wardrobe on, Except for my friend of course, who had on a t-shirt and a jacket, seemed suicidal to me, but if he can take it, let him! Something about New Yorkers, they seem to think that if you’re from any other state, you’re dumb and naive! They have this “I don’t care” attitude about them, this “I’m tough, I’m from New York, therefore I can kick your ass” persona! I on the other hand, had three different jackets on! And a huge scarf, and was still cold. We get to this nice Italian restaurant on the corner, the place is warm and huge, I take my jackets off one by one, and we sit down. We asked for a menu, and were told that they don’t have any, it’s all written on the walls, now sitting by the wall, the menu was right above us and pretty difficult for us to read it, we asked for a written one, and the waiter puts his hands in his waist and says “No! I told you, we don’t have any.” He removes his hand from his waist and makes a gesture asking us to stand up saying “Get up and move back and read it off the wall” instead of getting mad, I get a fit of hysterical laughter, the waiter’s rudeness was so funny to me, it is true what they say about these New Yorkers!
After dinner we go walking down to the fashion district, where I’m told all the major fashion shows happen. We walk into this little park in front of the Grace building, where I see tents with designers’ names on it, and a lot of preparations for an upcoming show going on, I see them set the runway at 12 in the morning. I get to my room and throw myself on the bed, wake up 5 minutes later at 6 am! I requested a room on one of the higher floors so I can see more of this energetic city, when I asked the front desk for a room “with a view” she looked at me funny and said “we don’t have a room with a view Hun, we’re surrounded by buildings all around” I smile and say “that’s the view!!!!” I walk to the window of my 36th floor room and look down at the street, dozens of cabs, hundreds of people, police cars, merchandise on display on the sidewalk, the sky high buildings, food carts, oh, I gotta go get my New Yorker shawerma sandwich.
That morning it must have been like – 20 c degrees, I literally ran to the cart as I was so cold, I grabbed a chicken shawerma sandwich and sat on a bench to eat it, it was very tasty, I didn’t really mind the ten hungry pigeons that gathered at my feet! But my fingers became so cold that I thought they were gonna fall off! I ran across the street to a Starbucks and walked in while holding back my pain tears as my fingers were THAT cold! Speaking of Starbucks, there’s one on every single corner, if you get one cup of coffee, you’d pass three more before you’re finished drinking.
I rush to my hotel room and put even more clothes on, and head back down stairs, I continue my journey of walking down NYC streets, with eyes wide open with excitement. The M&M factory, Downtown Marriott, Virgin mega-store, that was really a MEGA-store, it took me an hour checking their first floor shelves alone. I keep reminding myself to buy me one of those “I heart NYC” shirts or mugs or key chains, but I thought I’d wait till I’m going back to my room so I don’t walk around carrying lot of things.
The truth of the matter is, New York City surprisingly resembles Cairo a lot, traffic, noise, carts, people, garbage on the streets, the mixture of smells, only fewer mosques, and higher buildings. Until now I can’t really say that I’ve seen anything here, I still have to go to the Met, Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum for Modern Art, and so much more, the only museum I’ve been to here is the Brooklyn museum, so much more to see. I walked down Broadway, but didn’t actually go to a musical yet, I wonder what my first will be! The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mama Mia, I don’t know, is Chicago still playing? I would love to see that.
My New York native friend asks me “so, why New York? What’s the fascination about this noisy, crowded city?”, “I dunno exactly, from the time I was a kid, I watched all these movies and cartoon that took place here, also most of the American literature I came across was either happening here, or the author was from here, or lived here! Something always connected the idea of art, freedom, and self expression in my head with this city”, “true, but it’s just way too many people for this little city, it’s crazy, you can’t drive, can’t park, can’t afford a spacious place…etc”, “yeah, but it’s likewise back home, Cairo is crazy, just not the same opportunities, here people come to find themselves, there you lose yourself, between errand, social restrictions, and cultural rules, you’re trapped, and worst of all, everyone minds YOUR business, here people don’t have time but for their own business, I like their I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude, what and who you are is simply determined by what you can offer, that’s one trait I like a lot” I finish my little speech and ask him why he moved out of the city “well, it was too much, I live only an hour away, and I do miss it, but the traffic and the crowd was too much, also everything here is twice its price anywhere else” he catches his breath and looks around a bit “but I’d move back”, “I know at some point I will too” I say smiling with a dreamy look in my eyes.
I wake up the next morning, and tears fill my eyes, yes, ACTUAL TEARS, I’ve never cried over leaving anywhere before but Cairo, but this time I was truly sad to be leaving. I get up and get ready, pack my bags and head out, grab my last New York cup of Joe, and take a mental picture of this beautiful, nasty, loud, crazy, rude, amazing, self centered, artistic, arrogant, vibrant city. The minute I got on the plane, I remembered, I didn’t get my “I heart NYC” shirt, didn’t buy anything! I was so busy looking around, and exploring that I forgot to shop, WHO COMES HERE and doesn’t shop? What’s the matter with me?
As a kid, I thought I’d like to live in New York City, then after graduating, I moved to the USA, but my first stop was the West coast, a year later I moved closer, to the Midwest, another year passed by and I moved here, the East coast, fifty minutes away from the Big Apple, I sit here typing this on my bed, looking at a sign outside my window that says “East New York”, so naturally, the next move isA is New York. It is not just the city and the hustle, not just the little girl’s dream and fantasies, not just the museums and theaters, the metropolitan opera and the Broadway musicals, but mainly the chance, a chance to do what I really want, write, tell my stories, find a publisher, and begin my journey, I don’t know exactly when and what I’ll start with, but I know from where, leave everything behind, job, stress, restrictions, financial obstacles, and do it, write, and write and write, in New York City.

Noha Elsewaify,
09/18/2008
Pennsylvania, USA

Home

What is it that makes "Home" so special? is it the faces? the memories? the familiarity of everything? or is it just cause it's home?
I wanted to be independent, to be on my own, to see if I can make it all by myself, to try it all, then stamp it YES or NO for myself, that I did.
Still I'm lost, still unsatisfied, so now what? Egypt is amazing, there is nothing like Cairo, ElQuahera is the best city in my opinion still, with the traffic, with the dirt, with the noise, and people all in you business, kobry October, restrictions, rudeness, sexual harassment on the go! the red-tape, the mad prices, the long lines, the smell of sweat, the racism, the anti-feminist comments and rules, sharaf elbent, people looking at me funny when I say what I really think, stubborn and ignorant old men, stupid comments, "3amal elmar2a" yes or no!!!!! getting stuck in traffic when some insignificant "Folan" is driving somewhere, requiring dozens of poor soldiers to stand, back to the roads, in the burning sun! the pressure of finding a husband before I'm an old maid! boring TV, talentless movies, along with the holiness, the sense of belonging, the familiar streets, the simplicity of things, my best friend, the prayers calls, Elkorba, mama, Arabic signs in the streets, the best sense of humor, girls night out, warmth, baba, evenings with my cousins watching Mohamed Sobhy, family gatherings, driving to Alex on weekends, late phone calls, the smell of food, knowing I'm safe with mom and dad in the next room, my BFF is a block away, arguing with friends about the sexual orientation of Tamer Hosni, The Eid prayer, Ramadan, oh, Ramadan, that's the worst of them all, not feeling Ramadan, "beoble, ya cabtin, za best, elbes el shoes, and 2ol hi le uncle", Elsa7el with my best friends, Elmarghany, being in the back seat of dad's car, sacred to death while he's driving, Sharm, being taken care of when I'm sick, knowing I'm so precious, that I matter, for me, just me, nice whether all year round, sitting down for lunch with my family, lunch, the main meal of the day, K.grams, K.meters, places with memories, and Egyptians, my people.
My father always taught me to sit and reflect on my life on new years eve, and to be proud of what I've accomplished throughout the year, and make a commitment to improve what I should. It'll be 2008 in two hours. my feet hasn't stepped on Egyptian ground at all in 2007, that's a damn shame, I still haven't moved to NYC to publish my best seller, or became the author I always thought I'd be, or moved to the West and became a screenwriter living by the ocean!
I'm stuck in the middle, not east nor west, certainly not home! now what?
It's not so bad here, my own place, great TV, beautiful snow, freedom, financial independence, wide variety for any and everything, new gadgets, connectivity, beautiful clothes, Target, relevance, interesting characters, new adventures, life-changing experiences, HBO, great food, rights, bills in my name, also living alone, having to explain that I didn't drive a camel to school! and that there's a logical reason behind why Muslims don't do certain things, shoveling snow off my windshield, working on the Eid, fasting alone, freezing my ass off just walking to my car, hollowness, meaningless actions! bills, having to be mature 24/7, detachment , mom and dad are not in the next door room, my BFF isn't a call away, the signs in the streets are not in Arabic, no one says Noha right, no jokes are that funny! if I quote Madrast Elmoshghybyn no one will know what the hell I'm talking about, I haven't had Ma7shy in more than a year, that's sad. no one knows why I laugh when someone says "tease".
It's a different world, and I'm caught in between the two worlds, undecided. I eat fool for breakfast while listening to Abd Elwahab, then sit writing on candle lights while listening to Nina Simone in the evening.
Soon the Clock will struck 12, Cinderella will have to go home,or else it'll be too late, cause afterwards she'll no longer be who she pretends to be, she'll go back to her real self.

Noha Elsewiafy,
Decemeber 31 2007

The moon staring back!

The moon staring back!