ترانسات Transat

الجندر جندرنا

English

A long embrace over the Barzakh

beautiful-belly-dance-art-gull-g2

 

By: Nad Salaam

Translated by: Ivy Naser

Edited by: Lillianne Elkady

I remember the first eastern shake my belly shook happily, the first clear opposition to this natural disaster from my grandmother; “You’re a man and men do not dance”. I lived in a house, bustling in its pillar, and its windows are an escape for a child to a poor family, in an alley choked up by drug dealers, bullies, and religious people, crossing the streets are women whose colors are stolen by darkness, moving house to house carrying teapots, sharing the afternoon’s slander like tattletales. My mother was never interested in the “Alley Women” gatherings, she had nothing to boast about, married to a stumbling addict of a man, abused woman, seen many calamities during her life, my grandfather and grandmother don’t speak the language of hugs with her, but she learned it for me, my mother embrace was a warm haven for me, and she had no shelter in the middle of all this winter but me. Her long braid hugged her round face, like the night hugs the moon, she always would tell me about her aborted dreams, and she saw me as her only way to be able to dream again, in a place with many locks and a life scarce in doorways and windows to a newfound hope

My windows looked out on another wall, and my soul penetrated by the rebellious threads of light in the dimness of this place, below this ageing building, there’s a small shop full of colorful candy and ice cream, and in the center of it there’s a Pakistani merchant that looks like Santa Claus, and he has a large mole under one of his eyelids, and a white beard that almost extends to his belly button, and atop of the merchant “Abd Al Latif” a yellow rope with dolls dangling from it, wearing short laced skirts, adorned by blond plastic hair with a pink ribbon festooned atop it. And In contrast with the dolls, I have short black hair, and my skin is brown, men don’t dance! And they also don’t wear skirts, and their shirts are not colorful, but I have heart embroidered with flowers, and eyes that see pink amidst all of this blue, and daydreams where I am wearing a beautiful dress, just like the ones those dolls wear, and a picture that doesn’t align with my reflection in the mirror, but one that I draw in my imagination every time I want to smile

Every night I would pray to be that apparition I created, I would pray to be pretty, and I never understood why that child I was never felt beautiful! Never understood the borders that separate being a boy from being a girl, but I learned ever since I existed, that I was not allowed to cross them, so I did nothing but stand at this invisible line, staring at the other side, walking beside it all the time, accompanied by that apparition, that is with me but not with me, standing in the middle of two worlds, like parallel lines that never meet, which also don’t have an end station. That apparition that has androgynous elements, and a long neck, waves while smiling, floating over the Barzakh* that separates my world from the world of dolls and lipstick, I close in, but it gets farther like a mirage, I part with it and it becomes so real that I can almost touch it, and then I would wish that I can embrace it, a long embrace that never ends, my fingers extend to it every time my slender body grows, but it still remains far away like my mother makeup box atop the cabinet, and close like the echo of my father’s yelling in all the corners of the house. And between what’s felt and what’s imagined, I am still learning the dance that my grandmother forbade

Barzakh: A line or a place that separates two worlds; usually dissimilar ones*

 

لقراءة النص الأصلي باللغة العربية

اترك رد

%d مدونون معجبون بهذه: