Monday, April 03, 2006
A Prayer For The Dead. May God Protect.
I have a lot to think about in the middle of night, certain men come into my mind, what they are, were, did. And I sit at the kitchen table, dipping biscuits into my tea, and almost cry, then I take the tea upstairs to bed. I sit on the lower bunkbed while everyone is sleeping, and watch the moonlight make shapes in the room, and look out at the gap in the blinds, at an orange streetlight, and think, this looking into the light outside is blinding me, I will look at the darkness. I sit on the bed, leaning against a pillow propped up on the wall, exhausted sipping the tea quietly. The door opens, and I hear the Lhasa Apso's uncut claws scuttle across the wooden floor. 'what?' I say, half laughing under my breath, are you gonna jump up on the bed to annoy me?..., hours before if I can remember the time correctly, he had told me, 'being in love with you, made that other girl white...', the other girl, I'm sure I know who the other girl is, though never quite sure, she will remain being called that other girl. I still haven't sent that small note to her, the girl I met at the doctors. I've been living in dreams, I've tried to tell my family, Soloman talked to birds, according to Muslims, he even sent his djinn servants to a a couple he loved, and they worked for them until the couple died.
'They're about to be murdered.'
I sit staring into the darkness, I cannot see him in the room, my mind goes blank with a feeling that almost isn't there, I'm not surprised to hear him, but why does he have to tell me that? he doesn't bark these words, they just seem to come out of his throat and rest in the air.
'Go away.' I say firmly resigned. What I am suppoosed to do, get the phone to someone, there is nothing that can be done.
I hear him try to open the door, then leave, and he does not go back to his bed on the landing, but walks down the stairs, back up again, down again, wandeirng around as though there are others he need to tell and then rests in his bed.
'Who?' I ask, 'who are they?'
'They men they call Mohammed.'
'We are not crying them!', replies my little sister as she is woken up by him walking in.
I finsih my tea, and lean down on the bed, and have images in my mind of all the Arab children I met and saw in Jerusalem, two little girls running through some back streets I had got lost in, the way, they had run past me laughing, and how I had thrown my arms out to catch them, and wandered round with them, ending up in a deadend, where a woman walked past and said 'hello.', in English as if she already knew me, and I stop, and say hello back, but want to walk along with her and talk, maybe. And tears start forming, and I try to empty my mind but I can't sleep, and the dog is lying there, grumbling and growling as though he is having a bad dream, 'he is being beaten up.' Ihe Lhasa Apso is still growling, with fear, 'he has been killed.'. And I say a short prayer, hearing the planes fly over, and add in the middle of the prayer, though my mind is still and meditative and sure; 'don't laugh.'
And then I have more images in my mind, dreams of perhaps this man going up and thye are almost silly. Today, I take both of the dogs for a walk and sit on a bench smoking a cigarette and drinking a cold can of coffee, I keep trying to ask the dog 'Has he 'gone up?', 'did the prayer work?', he is sitting on his hind legs in front of me, and I stamp my foot on the ground gently,. He nods, sombrely. I'm sure he had already told me, the night before when I said I didn't think my prayer had worked, 'Believe it, Udal.'
3 years ago