Letter To An Undefined Entity

Dear Undefined Entity,

I must start this by complimenting you on your complexity, and your elusiveness. I’ve been trying to send you a letter for a few days now, even before you started, but I couldn’t put a finger on who you were or on how I must address you. Every time I tried to look you in the eye, it felt like I was looking through a mirror, at my whole history, my identity, my context and my genes. Thus I really could not address you in an angry or offensive way. There is so much of you in me that despite my disillusionment with the mess you have made, I can still at least sympathize, or secretly enjoy your drama.
Allow me to compliment you on your charisma as well. You’re not exactly cover page material if you’re to be assessed with regular, rational standards, but you have this sort of presence that lets even the most vigilant guards fall, effortlessly. Maybe all those years of chasing your fleeting ghost have made a legendary creature out of you, but you have definitely succeeded at training and intoxicating us to your unconditional observance. I could see this sweet intoxication in the eyes of your admirers on your first days. There is this dreamy, detached, watery quality in their eyes that speaks of their trance. It may be a forced, or an induced one, but it is a trance nevertheless. It feels like the intoxication of young, unhardened love. The kind that sees beauty in every curve of the lover, and prefers to capture a grainy portrait where blemishes are whitewashed.

We’re ready to embrace your madness, and your crankiness, for the sake of all the love you give us when we go to bed. The quality of romance in our daily life over 30 days, and in our history together, transfuses to you shortcomings. So your hallucinations become comfortable. Your father’s fables about our origins, our functioning, our purpose and our destiny acquire a certain quality of bitter-sweetness. We can go further than accepting them. We can put them above the reality we see and observe around us all the time, no matter how elegant or fascinating this reality might be. You and your father demystify this reality, or even demonize it. You’ve wrapped your fable candy with an electric coating that sends sudden bursts of blindness to our neurons. Very well done, indeed, and we take it willingly. Maybe because this is the only sensation, or texture, that our taste buds have met since tender age. Or maybe it is our memories of playing hide-and-seek together in the courtyard. So even when you are unrealistically harsh to us, we love it, and embrace it unconditionally. Even if it means damaging and depriving our organisms. The soul food our love affair provides more than compensates, and for that we’re willing to deny our suffering, and even our organism altogether. We have willingly made an offering of ourselves on your altar, without you explicitly asking for it. Streak of genius.

Dear Entity, more than waning with time, you’ve ridden its arrow. And more than getting lost in space, you have duplicated yourself in many of its molecules and became even more omnipresent. I wouldn’t be surprised if your RNA replicates itself in its void as well. Your brand now uses every channel, every tool and every technology it could put to use. It uses them for free. Just like us, they also offer themselves willingly on your altar. Specifically on these days, you are the buzz. The one. The ultimate.

Dear Entity, as our love is now old and tarnished, I can’t remember what I felt on our dates when our love was still young and pure. I remember you used to whip me. Close to the break of dawn, you would ask me not to drink anymore. I could never understand this demand, it scared me, and I never really bought your argument that you’re teaching me sublimation. I now know that what you’ve been really trying to teach me is subordination. And you’ve adorned this subordination with artifacts that made them more accessible. A song through the ether of the night, a perfect timing to detach from a fresher reality. A deprivation that numbs judgment. I cannot even hate you for doing that. Forget the lovemaking and the pleasure of bonding with you, and with my tribe through our collective love for you. More than those, I can’t deny the fact that we’ve made you. That you’re the daughter of my biological and social make-up. No wonder then that you could be so spoiled, so sadistic, and so charming at the same time..

Best Regards.

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    • The Barzangi
    • August 19th, 2010

    A well-written piece, but too sugary for my liking. Maybe it’s the hypoglycaemia speaking, considering it’s the ‘holy’ month and you’re probably in the red.

    • Hey Layth,
      I’m surprised that this could come across as ‘sugary’. What do you mean by ‘you’re probably in the red’?
      Cheers mate

    • The Barzangi
    • August 19th, 2010

    Well, it’s merely a personal opinion. There’s just too much adulation of the Unidentified Entity in that letter for my own liking. I used ‘sugary’ because I wanted to make the assumption that you wrote those words while affected by the usual low blood sugar levels brought on by the ‘holy’ month, i.e. your blood sugar indicator was ‘in the red’.
    It was an attempt at subtle comedy that obviously fell flat on the face. 😛

  1. The ‘entity’ is Ramadan, not the Abrahamic god.I certainly have no adulation for the latter, and find it surrealistic that people are willing to torture themselves in observance of the month. Trust me, there is not admiration whatsoever, more like the contrary.

  2. P.S. I’m obviously NOT fasting..

    • The Barzangi
    • August 19th, 2010

    OK, then I misunderstood the post. But you have to forgive me for confusing the two, because even Fawaz (on Facebook) thought that was the case. I know for certain that you’re not fasting, but I wanted to assume that to make my ‘clever’ attempt at humour work. It failed badly, of course. Hehe!

    • The Barzangi
    • August 19th, 2010

    By the way, you mention the faithful’s self torture brought on by wilful starvation and dehydration in observance of the ‘holy’ month. It’s even more dangerous than that, apparently.

    http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/08/19/117074.html

  3. This made my morning! So beautifully written.. Thanks for this Raafat.
    Please write more!!!!

  4. Raafat, thank you for the tag on this post. I disagree with Layth: the piece was not sugary. As I was reading, I felt the same state of trance and bewitchment that very same entity lures you into, just as you’ve described in the first paragraph. It was as if you’ve used “its” own voice as the antidote.

    “So even when you are unrealistically harsh to us, we love it, and embrace it unconditionally”.. that stems from our sadistic belief that with pain comes salvation. With endurance, come the 40 virgins.

  5. This piece is very beautifully written, & I am glad that you decided to put it all into words after the discussion we all had about Ramadan a week ago.
    I may not agree with the idea that fasting for Ramadan is torture, starving or dehydration, but I agree with parts of your post.

    I hope to read more of your posts in the future, I have enjoyed this.

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