Other Language


translated by: Bassam Frangieh

We Tell The Meaningless Tale
A man and woman are surrounded by dizziness and paleness and forgetfulness and impossible love. They are lit up by a stray comet that penetrates the sky above the cave between one moment and another. There is a dream that pours out of the only lantern that counts the shrapnel's of light, then turns into mysterious weeping. On the little table are scissors and a cluster of grapes and wilted Chamilia flowers. Shadows cross. Invisible steps break the rhythm of the torrid summer. Whispers are absorbed by the wall. And the slanderous night reveals the secret of the absolute beings to the reptiles.
Thus, outside, the road forks to the sounds of neighing.
Him: He has just returned from the sea without a cloud and without a legend. He throws aside his empty fish net. He walks in -- frowning, tired, disappointed -- toward the bed. which meets his body with weary moans.
Her: The soup is not prepared yet. The pants aren't sewn yet. She sits on a rocking chair, in a frightened silence, as if she doesn't see and doesn't feel. With the movements of her body, which rocks back and forth in a systematic and predictable rhythm, ideas and thoughts swing in a stream of consciousness.
From far away comes the noise of bread, the bleating of the water, the yawning of the watchman, the echo of boredom, the guffaw of the bridle, the weeping of the wheels, the sound of lovemaking, the rustling of conspiracy, the snoring of the narrators, the spinning of the fans. Then suddenly the voices are subdued and a terrifying silence prevails, taking the form of injury or death. A silence that no one can endure.

After a bit, she says, "I wonder what he's doing there now. Is he still chasing blind butterflies that came out of his forehead every time he sighs passionately when he sees a princess bathing in the lake? Is he still seducing the young brunettes who rub their breasts with sweet basil and enter his silky kingdom without shame? Is he still carrying confusing books under his arm, not even saying anything except once in a while? Or is he still coronating societies with crystal clarity in his defiant imagination?"
I remember his pride and self-confidence. He loved elegance. He mould sleep under the willow free and tie up his dreams in the form of a garland He would put it gently on the nipple of the river and contemplate it floating, directed toward sailors who were sipping their tea at the moment.
Ah, how, handsome is his soul when he touches the fringes of my dreams with his fingertips, when his eyes are full of laughter. When he bends down to smell the companions of childhood, he seems so handsome and pure.
After a bit, he says, "Every time I cast my nets in the depths of the archipelago, I was taken by surprise by the mocking octopus. It grabbed me by the waste with its long tentacles, its hundred tentacles, soft and strong, and it hissed in my ear, whispering: 'Wherever you threw your net, death will get you.'
"Even the seashells don't help me find a bold sailor to save me from my plight. But I love that broad sea, like the swift in-breath of a woman who a naked man for a minute, lucid as the blue eye of an infant, quiet as a lush carpet. Despite all of that, despair pierces me."
0 guide, o lighthouse guide, how, much do I have to plead before you feel pity, for me? The roads of the land are thorny, and no one gets used to my steps except the sea Guide me to the womb of the Gulf or let me pass.
"What's he doing there, why doesn't he come? When they pulled him from my lap, they said only an hour and we'll return him to you. But months have passed and I haven't seen him."
"I can't bear his absence either. I feel empty."
"Then why did you let them take him?"
"What else could I have done?"
"Refuse. Scream. But you preferred silence. You turned away and let matters go as they desired."
"You're ignorant. You don't understand."
"OK, I don't understand. I don't understand what you understand. But at least I did something. I spat on one of their faces."
"And what did it get you? He slapped you on the face and left you on the floor."
"Fine. But when I looked in his eyes, I saw fear. He was afraid of me. Nobody noticed. But he himself thought he wasn't afraid. I'm the only one who understood. And that was enough for me to feel a little proud."
"That's how you always are, viewing yourself as an exemplar of courage and heroism, and everybody else has less courage and less dignity. Sometimes I feel that you hate me."
"No, I can't hate you, but I also can't forgive you."
"How can you consider me guilty or treacherous? He is my son too, or have you forgotten that?"
"You're right. I have to stop doing that. It's not right for me to blame you. You used to love him as I did. You used to know the extent of the sensitivity of his heart like me. When he was young, we used to go out together.
Do you remember?"
"Yes, yes, I used to carry him on my shoulders. And you used to carry a basket of apples and apricots."
"Yes, we used to play and entertain ourselves.
We combed the promenade with our laughs. You used to carry him high up. You were proud of him. And I used to look at you both and say to myself, these two people are the dearest to my heart."
At the end of the night I lean against the wall, and I call him. Come here our child. there's no one but you who can light up our spirit. When sadness weighs heavy on my shoulders, I incline toward you and kiss your forehead. You suspect that I'm sleeping but I inhale your breath when you press into me, and any nerves shiver, and I whisper to myself, "I love you.
I know that we are one body. Neither of us can move way from the other. And when you touch me closely, I slide into a delightful intoxication, I feel hot sweat melt our sofi parts, and I whisper, "Take me."
"So I cover you with my mast and sails, and I take you to the labyrinth to dizzy islands brimming with rich silt and rub your thighs with the foam of the summer. We watch in fear. The birth of the celebration is in us, but he hasn't come yet."
"That stranger who just passed from here, and because of whom the scoundrel slapped me that time. It passed like a scratch. He sewe