The storyboard continues in episodes of varying lengths. The brief is brief. Life is death, delayed. A gold class ride on the metro. Standing up when seating is guaranteed. Creative directors and graphic designers wanted. The copy is any body’s guess. Dare to push the limits.
I was not ready for the face. The tight dark jeans tucked in the lace-up 4 inch red leather knee-high boots, the brown bag held tightly around the chest, the slender fingers, ring-less, manicured, corrals, a wooden bangle peeking from under the black sleeve, mismatched, nonchalant. The neck, slightly visible under the turtle neck, white, chalk.
The face. I wasn’t ready for the face, the eyes, half closed, lifeless almost, staring at the void beyond the windows, the metro speeding on the unusually wet tracks of a Dubai morning, wrinkles beyond age, beyond recognition, beyond talk, the face of a geisha, once.
I divert my look, but the face goes with me, burrows its features into mine, until I become one with her. Reincarnated into the lines on her face. What brings us here, strangers, to the point of recognition and silence, at the hour of sleep?
Life from the point of view of a wise monkey:
Thubms are overrated.
Peanut butter is for fools. Choosey monkeys choose peanuts.
There is no such thing as eating too many bananas.
Monkeys are an endangered species. Save monkeys form turning into humans. The original ape is gone, degraded, humanized.
Sometimes mess is necessary. Try cracking peanut shells.
Nose picking is a common past time practice among Dubai Metro and Dubai bus passengers.
This is not home. It is the exile of the soul. I gather my robes around me and walk, in search of yesterday. The sidewalks are blisters blinding the eye. Constant reminders of sullen words, and kisses left untold. Pennants scorching the melting shade.
Five days a week I don’t see the sunset. Five days without God, trying to stop the teeth from chattering, the tongue from cursing.
Dubai, a frozen tundra.
I crane my neck to count.
Beyond the cumulus plains of the 160th floor, a spike, piercing the seat of God’s throne.
The elevators are fast. The slit in the attendant’s skirt a fake smile, cushioned heels, tired.
Gold coins and plush stuffed toy camels. Stomachs bloating with camel meat and grape juice.
Into the crystal glass it falls, a drop at a time.
God is bleeding.