Saturday, May 13, 2006

Memory



Walking up the hill...
it was cold and cloudy...
and when the wind blew...
my heart woke up,
and...a flashback:
a windy day in 1993,
my first day at AUB....
registration day.
Biology 201...MWF....conflict....drop and add....
SLH...
English placement test...
Nicely 500...
"daraj el chemistry"....el-kharoubeh....
Chem 101...lecture in chemistry 001...Kasparian
the green table infront of agriculture...
the science library....the glass room in the back....
The picture widens....I saw AUB...
my family....my home....
Beirut....
Lebanon...

Memories....memories....
why did they suddenly bombarded me from everywhere?
I stopped in the middle of fifth avenue....
who am I?
what am I doing here?
how did I end up here?
Why do people suddenly look faceless?
Walking in one direction?
carrying a starbucks coffee...and marching like machines....
And I notice I was carrying one myself....
marching like a machine myslef!
I threw it away....
and I walked quicker....
up....up the hill....
away....away from the memories....
"I'll not be part of the system"
"I can do better....I can do better"

"Good morning", a smiling face greets as I enter the hospital.
"Good morning!", I return the greeting, and the smile, still shivering.
Slwoly, I calm down.
And slowly, I forget.
Slowly, I feel I belong here again.
at least for the moment.

(pictures: top: one of my favourite places at AUB, in the way to the lower campus, Beirut, Lebanon, taken summer 2005.
Bottom: Fifth avenue at the turn up the hill to Presbyterian hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, taken today.

12 comments:

Voice_of_Reason said...

'"Good morning", a smiling face greets as I enter the hospital.
"Good morning!", I return the greeting, and the smile, still shivering.'

Well at least you were not flirting.... ;-)

Your words ring true, Hashem.
Sometimes I go to work, thinking how much time I am wasting sitting at reception, greeting everyone with my fake happy smile. When I could be sitting on a beautiful beach staring at the sunset.....And then, like you, I fit in for the moment.

Khulilee Ulbec ya Hashem (sorry Arabic spelling is bad)

laila said...

"memory lane"..
near the infirmary :)
i failed chem 201 :(

Mar said...

Nicely :)- English classes outside on the grass.Ms. Shami, had her before? AUB, so short lived :(

hashem said...

Josette,
Yesterday was not a day for flirting....it was a day for memories!! As for the smiling faces, believe it or not, I like it....no matter how it may look naive....I love the fact people here smiles all the time...and care to greet....
"Khulilee Ulbec"? sho....this is Shmaleyyeh 100% (north Lebanon" :)

Laila,
My memories at AUB are among my dearest....the happy days, and the disppointments as well....

Mar: I knew Mrs. Shami, but never had her class....short lived? Well for me it was almost 9 years....almost one third of my life...

Mirvat said...

oh my god
you took me back..
daraj el chemistry. we all call it that..not daraj el biology or daraj el 3ammo..

hashem said...

yes, Mirvat....
It's daraj el chemistry....We always called it that as the chemistry dept is what it leads to....
It's one of my most loved stairs...I feel home when I see it....It brings alot of memories...happy, and sad....
i painted the observatory from it 3 times....and I just love the area...
I'm so home sick.

Fouad said...

Will we ever belong?

Mar said...

Yes Hashem, a very short year :s

hashem said...

Fouad,
This is my question....always. I get busy with life stuff, ignore it, act like it's not a big issue....but it's there....and it keeps coming back...like that windy morning. Will I ever have an answer? Will I ever belong?

Mar, memories knows no time frames. they just stick in our minds.

Ghassan said...

you reminded me of a poem by N. Qabbani I read when I first moved to NY. he wrote it when he visited NY, and it's about the difference... or more about the indifference I guess that we experience here..
does anyone remember that poem? (I couldn't find it on the web)
in it he says "who in this big city knows my mother? or where I came from?"

Mirvat said...

we will never belong. forever islands

hashem said...

Not sure, Gus.
Well said ya Mirvat. Unfortunately.....just islands in the middle of a vast sea....with no land...