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El dÝa de los muertos y los dÝas de horror...

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Two dreams this morning.

In one of them, I'm at the airport, flying somewhere with Amma.  But for some reason, we are separated.  I have to go somewhere else, get something, do something, unclear.  It takes me too long, and I know we're past our deadline for check-in — or at least I am.  But I'm blocked, delayed, confounded at an upper floor (I need to get back to the lower floor), by a single escalator, going up.  No down-escalator, no stairs anywhere in sight.

I watch some boys whooping through their own solution to this: running full-tilt down the up-escalator, galloping down faster than the stairs can glide up beneath them, such that they're able to beat the machine, rushing back along and through and despite the forwardness, rushing one way faster than the rest of the world as it slides on the other way.  (Hm.  Metaphor much?)

But here in the dream this option isn't open to me.  I can't do what they're doing because I'm not as free and buoyant as they are.  Something about bags I'm carrying, tiredness inside.

Finally I get to the check-in counter.  Find that my mother has checked in, gone on, through security, and on to the gate.  (She had been with my friends. They had taken care of her while I had gone off to do or get or process whatever it was that I had gone off for.)  I beg the thankfully-helpful Emirates women to help.  To check me in and give me a boarding pass, to call the gate and beg the flight crew in turn, to help, hold on, help.  The woman at the counter is quick, understanding, serious.  She nods at the screen in front of her and asks if I want her to make a note in the system, that my mother's booking is linked to mine.  “Are you sure?  Because this would mean that if you don't get to the gate in time, they will not let her fly.  They will offload her, and you'll both be left behind.  Is that what you want?”

I think for all of a split second.  Weigh the anger she will undoubtedly unleash upon me, against the alternative.  “Yes I'm sure,” I say. “We have to travel together.”

Later as I'm rushing hopefully down hallways and walkways — it looks like I have a chance — it occurs to me that, knowing my mother, she is probably already taking care of all this at her end.  She always insisted on being the last person to board anyway.  Sipping her cappuccino through all the quasi-penultimate last calls at Dubai Airport, she would say from her ‘when-I-was-flying’ mountain, “that once they've issued your boarding pass, that's it.  You can take your time.  They just have to wait for you.”  Of course, Emirates eventually proved her wrong.  (One more reason, probably, why she hated them.)  But still, in the dream I think, knowing my mother, she's taking care of this better than I am, in ways I never would.  At this very moment, she's probably feigning difficulty as she tries to rise from the dark pleather seat in the departure lounge.  Signalling to someone from ground crew to come over and help, touching her graying hair as that someone bends to hear her best old lady voice, explaining that her knee is giving her trouble, she won't be able to walk down the jetway, would they be so kind as to get her a wheelchair...?

This last part I don't dream.  Because by now I'm waking up slowly.  This last part I imagine, awake.


In the other dream, I'm flying somewhere with Nani.  Khala is driving us to the airport.  Nani and I are in the back seat.  We're late.  I think it's Karachi.  Khala drives over something on the road, something which, it turns out, was very likely the cream-colored sequinned dupatta I had been wearing earlier.  Khala can't go back for it (something about how “German cars can't go backwards...”).  She tells me not to worry, bacchi, that she will have another one made for me, do I want a nice, fluffy cotton-blend?  I start to tell her the dupatta came from Amma's wedding dress.  Not the one she loved, in burgundy and gold organza.  The one she hated.  The one Daadi made her wear, because she wasn't “fair enough to wear red.”  Khala gets quiet, because in this dream, though Khala and Nani are alive, Amma is not.

I wake up for the second time today.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[domenica 20 novembre 2016 ore 11:25:00] []


The following day, I drove with him into the Owl Mountains.  We travelled along a series of winding mountain roads, into the heart of the area where most of the Riese tunnels are situated.  Along the way, we passed the town of Głuszyca and its cemetery, where some two thousand laborers from Riese, mainly Jews, were buried in a mass grave.  There are few tombstones.  One read simply, “This Was Done to People by People.”

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[giovedý 17 novembre 2016 ore 09:52:00] []


How do I begin to tell you anything else?  How is anything else I'm thinking, even if I'm thinking it, how is it not part betrayal, part escape, part pointless?

This week I tried to tell Elvira what to expect.  And afterwards, she told me more than I knew myself.  This week is a supermoon.  This week I met a man who told me how his nonno used to say you must never trust Americans, because they are all cowboys or gangsters.

I was leaving the bar when he said it.  I was late for my appointment with Elvira.  I said something about stereotypes, generalizations, the trouble we are in these days.  I asked for my check.  It took ten more minutes, out on Panisperna, before it came to me, mounted in me like the bitter taste that comes up after a meal, of the one thing you should not have eaten.  How racist is your nonno then, little man?  And how different is he anyway, from anyone who says you must never trust Muslims, because they are all terrorists?  How different is he, for that matter, from anyone who says you must never trust a white man that has not voted for a white woman to run his country?

How different am I?

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[sabato 12 novembre 2016 ore 22:51:11] []

Among other things.

I think of the word for evil, in Italian:

I think:
I am sorry for my daughters
Because even the ones who never were
are reeling.

I say to no one in particular:
Well no, actually, sometimes life
doesn't go on.

I think of that moment in Suheir Hammad's “First Writing Since,” when the white woman hugs her, and she tells the white woman:
“my brother's in the navy,” i said. “and we're arabs.” “wow, you
got double trouble.” word.

I think about since.

I think of a line from an article I read last week.  It was an article about Rilke, and it had nothing to do with this, and I had no idea at the time, but now:
We must understand one another or die.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[mercoledý 09 novembre 2016 ore 23:12:12] []