The Door...


It was time for me to leave.

With my back against the wall, there was only one way- through that Door.

A door I had known for years. A door I had memorized by heart. A door who was so faithful to my comings and goings...She never failed to open or close, totally at my bequest.

This time, it called on me and said "pull me open" and I did...

I can still feel the brass handle in my hands, copper colored, rusty and engraved with all of your fingerprints...

My hand hesitated a while before it gripped it. It rested there until I summoned the force to turn that knob and pulled that Door towards me...

It was very silent that morning. I found myself tiptoeing in the empty house. As if not to wake anyone up. They were all absently asleep.

I checked each room and even arranged the covers of one of the beds. I made sure it was well stretched with no creases. A perfect empty bed...

The shutters were down, but not completely. I thought to myself, let the Light in. Maybe the Light will visit and knock on that door while am gone...

I walked towards my library, looked at my shelves and ran my fingers across the arranged piles as if running my fingers through a lover's hair...

I delicately stroked my paintings, infusing my palm with their colors. I then, clenched my fist, as if to capture and hold them there, right in the center of my palm.

I promised them that when we meet again, I will be intransigent with the dust and will never let it gather again...

I noticed a CD in the player. I left it there and left the cover empty, wide open, exposing the name of the songs and that of the singer.

On the small table there was a candle half burned down. The dripping, melted wax had frozen on the edges and looked like sour grapes hanging from a vine tree, dangling, reaching the dark mahogany wood and forming a cluster of white clouds...

Next to it was an empty cup of coffee...whose rim was stained with brown patches, like narrow paths, where the hot liquid had travelled...leaving at the bottom of the cup a thick dark opaque mud...

I left the cup sitting there. I left it with its dark rims and its dark remnants sitting next to the frozen white clouds...Clouds gathered from a small warm light, a small candle light that is now dead...

I pulled that handle, and caressed the Door, one final caress.

I stepped out in the blinding, glaring sun. I straddled towards the gate. I did not look back. I could not.

But I could not help but see the little palm tree that I had planted some time ago, wave my way and call my name out, as I walked out. As I walked out and away, towards the Unknown...



Painting: Iraqi artist, Ali Al-Tajer.

Comments

annie said…
stunning
Anonymous said…
Lucky that handle ! ;-)
Anonymous said…
"But I could not help but see the little palm tree that I had planted some time ago, wave my way and call my name out"

How lovely ! Am absolutely fond of little graceful palm trees. They're a delicacy to the eyes.

I've always wondered what becomes of them after sunset...mystery.

You who've been caring for one, have you seen, can you tell me ?
Angel said…
Hello Layla,

An Arab Woman Blues is the first place I visit in the evening. I hope you are not planning a permanent holiday?

Where ever you are going, I wish you peace and happiness. Most of all I hope you are once more able to trust your neighbours. I know the latter is close to your heart.

Stay safe Layla.
YoUnicorn said…
Dearest Layla

Beautifully written !
Leaving HOME... a door..
the unknown.

Bless you always, in the path you choose !
Lots of love
Anonymous said…
"I hope you are not planning a permanent holiday."

Angel, this post is about a past event, Layla's departure to exile, which happened even before Gulf War I.

She and her beau of that time "Iraqi Democrat" were working for the KGB and had been involved in a failed coup to bring back the Qassem nostalgics.
Anonymous said…
About Me
LAYLA ANWAR
Do you really care ?

Yes, I do.

So who are you ?
Anonymous said…
When Juno is set free, Jupiter comes down to earth, whispers an "end of a knight" tale in our ears...goodnight.
Layla Anwar said…
tipsy,

Lay off the alcohol. Or maybe you are a clairvoyant yourself. So maybe you can tell me about my secret relationship with Iraqi Democrat and how we escaped during Gulf war I. What an idiot!
Layla Anwar said…
Angel,

I was referring to something that happened. I shall be around Inshallah just to bug those Americans, the jews, and the sectarian shits from Iran.
Bless you.
Layla Anwar said…
caring,

Who are you?
Layla Anwar said…
someone,

Say hello to Mars and Jupiter for me...
Layla Anwar said…
Dear Yolla,

Thank you...But we will meet inshallah. When I am able to keep not only my head above water.

Lots of love.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Annie,

I don't believe we've met before. Thank you for visiting and your comment.
Layla Anwar said…
For Arab male Readers, got a nice little surprise for you on the other blog. Enjoy!
YoUnicorn said…
My Dearest Layla

Yes !!! we will meet inshallah !
Plans are on schedule ,-))
Ah.. reading your reply to Angel.

Take good, good care of yourself.
Praying
Lots of love
annie said…
hello, no we haven't met but i have visited many times tho not using my name usually. i am always in awe of your writing. i read something today that reminded me of your post but was embarrassed to post it. tho now that you have addressed me i will.

Dead men, not potsherds
littered the way.
In the wide streets
where the crowds once gathered and cheered,
the corpses lay scattered.
In the fields where the dancers once danced
the dead were heaped up in piles.......

This is my house:

where food is not eaten,
where drink is not drunk,
where seats are not sat in,
where beds are not made,
where jars lie empty,
and cups are overturned,
where harps no longer vibrate
and tunes no longer sing.

This is my house:

without a husband,
without a child,
without even
me.


(Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh)
Anonymous said…
Ha, I couldn't help but look after that. Bloody hilarious obviously the description and not the incident.

Layla, you've been ripped off again. You might now want to get suspicious when one of your "acquaintances" says come over for coffee. On a lighter note though, my father has said to us on more than one occasion that no matter what we have done to disgrace the family name, at least we have never worn white socks and black shoes together.

But anyway, Layla I'd like you to come for coffee and meet a "friend" of mine ;)
Anonymous said…
"Who are you ?"

I am an orphan.

Who are you ?
Anonymous said…
You're really an amazing writer.

What a pity that you chose to put your genius and passion at the CIA-trained Qaeda loonies' service instead of the Iraqi Resistance's...
Layla Anwar said…
Annie,

THANK YOU for this great reminder from Gilgamesh...Absolutely stupendous and so today.
Layla Anwar said…
Skinny,

Meet a friend of yours? Does your dad know about it?
Layla Anwar said…
can't stand,

Am actually working for the KGB's branch in Somalia. You got your facts wrong again!
Layla Anwar said…
Caring,

Am an orphan too - we all are.
Anonymous said…
You'll see, Layla, when you fall head over heels in love with someone, you'll not mind him "playing pacha" or "sultan" and yourself his "jariya" every so often.

It's nature and only too sweet.

Or do you prefer the unisex, "role-less" gender relations of the oh so modern and egalitarian (hahahaha) Western societies ?
Layla Anwar said…
najla,

I will leave it to you to play Geisha girl in the name of Love. I don't buy slavery by whichever label it comes under.
Anonymous said…
When you opened that door, don't know why but I had hoped in joy, that you were coming for the Reunion celebrations of Mevlana, to Konya, on the 17th. It's nice to know you're still around.
Take good care.
Anonymous said…
Am no slave, am a self-aware, independent working woman who just happens to have kept a very tender, balmy, harmony-loving side that takes pleasure out of making the existence a little less of a Hell to those she loves - not only in romantic contexts.

You're a daughter of Ishtar, you should know what "role" the Feminine has (or ought to have) in the "play of life".
Anonymous said…
"Am an orphan too - we all are."

I trust no one on earth after him, but I am tempted to make an exception for YOU, as I feel in your words the same absolute love for our Iraq.

Can I ?
Anonymous said…
I am not an alcoholic like Bush and Barabie, ma'am, just an Arak addict and coffee grounds reader.

And from the all-knowing grounds of my coffee cup I read that you and the queer dandy called "Iraqi Democrat" have been in the KGB pay from 1984 up to 1990, when you had to flee to Beirut after the Iraqi Mukhabarat had foiled a pro-Qassem coup you were involved in.

I also read that following the collapse of his beloved USSR "Iraqi Democrat" suffered from a severe depression that caused...ahem...some "little problems" satisfying you.

So to kill time and boredom you started attending lectures at the Beirut University, where you first met the then young and passionate Prof. As'ad Abu Khalil...

To be continued.
Anonymous said…
"It was time for me to leave"

Ha! Lady Iraqi Resistance hadn't the balls to face up to the attack and ran away like a coward!

End of a Myth.
annie said…
you're welcome layla. the more i know about iraqis the more confidence i have in their resilience. i ran into the passage at the baghdad museum site after viewing the absurd 'playing cards' of the historical sites created by the DOD to inform the invaders to preserve iraq (ha! a little late). i couldn't help but think how they were going to need these sites for the new tourist industry (disneyland) they are planning. gee, if only they had the same regard for the population.
Layla Anwar said…
Nur Aris,

How I wish I can be there. If you do make it, whirl for me. Will you?
Layla Anwar said…
Najla,

Precisely because am the daughter of Ishtar, I say to you - We've had enough.

There is no Romance in Death, there is no Romance in the Ego gone wild with its brutality instincts. There is no Romance in silencing one's voice to play the game. I hope you finally get it.
Layla Anwar said…
Tipsy,

You and the others delight in slandering me...Be my guest. You are actually giving me a good publicity. But then again, I did say once you are an idiot - need I repeat myself twice?
Layla Anwar said…
jeffrey,

Your mediocre sort, and they abound absolutely hate it when someone else's shines...
Saddam shined and still shines. The sons and daughters of Iraq are still shining despite your cluster bombs, your smelly boys, your napalm, your D.U and will keep on shining....
It eats you up - Am so glad.
God bless the inhabitants of Mesopotamia for being true to their vows.
Layla Anwar said…
Caring,

Do you waver in Love?
I have published over 200 posts in one year. At times, I senselessly repeat myself, like someone who knows only that one song...but has learned different tunes to it...

The question is Can I trust you?
Anonymous said…
"Can I trust you?"

For the little I count...yes, you can trust me.

Can I trust you ?
Anonymous said…
Caring asked...
"Can I trust you ?"

Trust on the Internet ??? !!!

She could be ANYBODY, you sentimental fool.
Anonymous said…
Yer not trusting anybody Layla. You find yer security in being elusive and not giving any information about yerself in yer profile. You hide that, by asking if anybody cares.

I see in many posts of yers that you take a stance on a subject and condemn others..yet as I look further on in yer posts...you become a person that you previously condemn.

Where exactly do you live in Iraq. What was yer profession before the illegal invasion? Were you a student? Were you employed? WHat was yer views towards the Shia before the invasion?

There's no reason to be afraid and untrusting because of these questions.

You obviously have a home, food and water and ofcourse an internet provider and a computer. There's no reason to be afraid of me. I can't harm you physically and I can't damage any ego.

I have nothing to hide. The American goverment spies on us. They look into our financial records, out medical records, our emails, out SMS conversatins, the websites we go to. I say, let them look. If it turns them on, so what. I will not hunker down in paranoia and fear of them. The United States governement is my enemy to my own individual "liberties & freedoms".

The UD federal government can now come to my home and enter and arrest me under any false pretense they want to use against ne. They can deny me access to an attorney and keep me locked up indefinitely. Thats the way it is. Welcome to the fascist corporate agenda.

I was born in America. I had no choice in that. My mother is American Indian so I know what a sense of 'pride' is. I know what colonialism is. There are many things I have not experienced. I have not expereinced the death of a child and I know it's been happening in Iraq.

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