March 19, 2010

Another Year, Another Post. - 2

Bombs and Rosaries

We were all gathered in the dark room, in one corner of the room, huddled, almost piled up on top of another...like corpses about to be collectively buried in some anonymous mass grave...there was a little candle burning, flickering, imperceptibly so...maybe the only warmth, for we were shivering...

Each round we'd think the time has come...the time has come with the walls shaking and the windows shattering...we stopped replacing them...we just used garbage bags and tape instead...maybe that was a symbol for what was to come later...tape your mouth, seal your lips while your life has become a pile of garbage...

I remember each one would give the other "instructions", if you so and so is still alive, he/she should not forget to do so and so...and with every round, we'd say our prayers all over again, asking forgiveness for our short lived lives, our failures and omissions, and remind one another of the will...if you are still alive, remember, promise you will remember... I suppose another way of reaching immortality in those deadly minutes that preceded and followed every round of Freedom...

At first there were sirens, and some would scream "ghara, ghara, here they come again" (air raid, air raid) as if we had a say in the matter, as if we could stop it, as if we controlled the sky or those who rode it...so we huddled again and again...like terrified animals before a storm, before an earthquake...

When the sirens stopped working, it was the brave ones who went to the mosques and start chanting Allahu Akbar - God is the Greatest...these became our sirens -- Allahu Akbar...

In the aftermath of each round of Freedom and Liberation, each would take a deep breath, and try to reach someone else, another relative, a neighbor, to check on them...

Rosaries - praying beads would be left on each one's seat, marking it as -- this is my place, this is where I was when it all happened...marking our territory with praying beads...half angels and half animals, surviving on prayer and instinct...awaiting death...