كلام للرجالة

الكلام ده لكل شاب و راجل مش مرتبط، اعزب،  بيفكر يخش علاقة، عايز بس مش قادر، قادر بس مقيد، مش مقتنع بس من جواه عايز اوي. واحد عايز يتعرف بس خايف.

النهارده بحتفل بست شهور في علاقة. بذلت مجهود و تفكير الاقي صيغة بالعربي لعبارة relationship بالانجلبزي من غير علامات استفهم. اظن ان مفيش الصراحة كلمة تعني a committed relationship برا نطاق الخطوبة او الجواز و ده مفهوم بحكم ان كلمة تعارف لا تساوي بالتحديد a committed relationship. Dating و relationship عبارات و افكار دخيلة على الثقافة الشرقية و في غياب مصطلحات تواكب الشرق تسخدم تلك العبارات. بس هناك فجوة رهيبة بين المفهوم الشرقي و الغربي و بالتالي نجد صعوبة في التعبير.

التفكير الوصفي (thinking on a meta level) حتة من لحمي و بالاخص التفكير المقارن بين اللغات. حسيت اوي بوجود التفكير في حياتي في اخر ستة اشهر. بتكلم عربي و انجليزي و بعدي كل فكرة و كلمة من خلال التواصل نفسه و مقارنة الكلام بين اللغات. البعد يظن “ايه يا عم كل ده، جايب وقت لده من فين!” الحقيقة ان صار كل ده بشكل لا ارادي و بديهي. بحبه. جزء من شخصيتي و تركيبتي.

قررت من زمان اني هتواجد في ارض جديدة، بين الكلام السلبي المخفي عن الجواز و الارتباط (“يا عم بلا هم… كلهم صنف واحد… كبر دماغك… عاملها كانها ملاك… سيطر… تتجوز ليه و تتوكس ليه… خليك سينجل و عيش حياتك… الجواز غم و مسؤلية”)، و الكلام الخيالي المطلق المستخرج من الميديا و الافلام (“الجواز الحل لكل مشكلاتي… عمري ما هحس بالوحدة تاني… الرومانسية اهم حاجه في العلاقة… البنت هتسد كل احتياجاتي.. الفرح اهم يوم في حياتنا… الحب يحل كالمشاكل”)

انا متبقي من فكر الخيالي و ارفض المنظور السلبي. و هفضل ارفض و احارب الفكر السلبي بدون مهاجمة او انتقد بشكل مباشر. هحارب الفكر من خلال فكر و ممارسة – أمل انه فكر سليم – حسب الكتاب المقدس و فكر الله في الارتباط و الجواز.

انا مخلوط و مزيج من الشرق و الغرب، النور و الظلمة، الماضي و الحاضر، الشخصي المكتسب و المروث، النظري و المعاش. و العلاقة بتكشف لي مدة الخلط و المزيج، و نسبة العمل المطلوبة في تفكيك الافكار و التصرفات اللي ممكن تعطلني و تهددنا او تكون سبب اذى. العلاقة نادي تمرين (gymnasium) بالمعنة و الغرض عن اليونانيون القدماء، تمرين و تهذيب الذهن و العقل و الجسد و القلب. عمل دائم.

ادركت و بادرك افكاري و معتقداتي عن الرجولة و الانوثة. من حين الى اخر افهم ايه اللي دايقني، ليه اتعصبت او حسيت بالاهانة، الاهمال. كنت فاكر نفسي سلس و متفهم، بس في حاجات بقفش، حدث بسيط يفجر جويا مشاعر الرفض و الخزي. كنت عارف اني عندي محفظات كتيرة و لكن اكتشفت اني عندي اكتر من كده، اجزاء من العالم الداخلي غير مستكشفة و غير مختبرة.
مدة نجاح العلاقة و التواصل متناسب مع مدة و استعداد تعبيري عن مشاعري و افكاري، مش متناسب مع مدة ادائي في دور الراجل الكريم او اللطيف او المؤدب او الملفت. كل ده مهم و مرغوب فيه بس تواجدي في العلاقة اهم. اتأخد مسؤلية مشاعري و تصرفاتي. مشاكلي. تسديد احتياجاتي. رجولتي في ده. مش علو صوتي و لا عمق غضبي. اتعلمت اكتر لما كنت هادي و متحكم في نفسي عن لما فقدت اعصابي و اتهورت.

٦ اشهر من النمو و التدريب و التمرين و العمل، اعطاء و الخدمة و التواجد. الاعمال البسيطة. التعبير و الاستماع. حل المشاكل مع بعد، مش جوا زنزانة دماغي، في الارض الجديدة، بثقة انها ترغب في الحل و نمو و نجاح العلاقة.
دخلت المشروع ده و انا مٌحمّل من الماضي، بمخاوف و صدمات و افكار مسبقة و هلاوس و معتقدات من الشلاحات. اي حد يقللك انك لازم تبقى جاهز و مثالي وغد و احمق. جرب و شوف. اعظم و اصعب و اكبر تحدي في حياتك. كان كده بالنسبة لي. المخاوف قلٍت و الصدمات بفهمها و بتعامل معها، و الافكار المسبقة بفكهم و بعيد تركيب المفيد و ترك الخطاء. و الشلاحات الحمدلله بتاعمل معها بفكاهة و سلاسة.

ماحدش علمني الكلام ده. ماكنش ينفع اتعلم ده في كورس و الكتب على قد ما اليوتيوب و كتب معينة كانوا محورين في تفكري. بس اتعلمت العوم لما نزلت البحر. و العلاقة دي بحر. كنت بحب المياه بس مرعوب من الحميمية و التواصل. النهارده بحب البحر و مش خايف منه.

اُترك المدرستين، السلبية و الخيالية، و جرّب.

انا ممتن اوي لربنا اني جربت بعد ماسمحت له انه يهدم اللي كان مترسخ جوا و بيعيد بنائه. بثق فس الرب و مش ملتزم بالنتيجة. طبعا عايز المشروح يكمل، بس سلمت النتيجة لربنا و بركز على الرحلة و العمل. الله خلقني لكي اعمل.

و انا فخور بنفسي اني بعمل في الارض الجديدة. بثق فنفسي اني بتعلم و بنمو و بتغير.

2 وَلا تَتَشَبَّهُوا بِهَذَا الْعَالَمِ، بَلْ تَغَيَّرُوا بِتَجْدِيدِ الذِّهْنِ، لِتُمَيِّزُوا مَا هِيَ إِرَادَةُ اللهِ الصَّالِحَةُ الْمَقْبُولَةُ الْكَامِلَةُ.

Translation of Radwa El-Sherbiny’s Monologue on Terrible Partners

Radwa rips awful partners a new one!

Original video in Egyptian Arabic: https://fb.watch/nCBonC2nJU/

“My problem is that… I [viewer who sent in question] don’t have a problem.
My problem is that I have a man in my life, but he’s not really there.
My problem is that he’s trying to be present in his own way.
He sends me one or two texts a day, barely calling me once a day to check in and see how I am.
Presents are few and far between… not on all occasions. He hasn’t even gotten me flowers, despite the amount of time [we’ve been together].
Minimum effort is spent on communication, just to keep the relationship going.
One day has I love yous… ten days follow without it.
So, thinking about it all… I realized that I really don’t have a problem, but I really feel that I’m not in a real relationship.
I tell him, Should I leave? he says, No. I ask him, should we end this? He says, no need.
I tell him, I don’t want this, he says I love you. And then I go back and the same story over again.
So.. my problem is that this relationship is lukewarm.
What do you think? What should I do?

So, I [host] spent some time thinking. I won’t tell you what I would do if I was in your shoes, but I will tell you what I think, my opinion I mean. The way I see it… there’s a man who’s afraid to lose you and there’s a man who likes to keep you around because you’re a safe bet. He’s got an agenda, a checklist – appearance, religion, values, success, money, the way you carry yourself. It’s all with the [mind], it’s all logical. And his family will tell him, Look. If you leave here, you won’t find anyone else like her. Easy-going, meek, simple, she’s got a good job, her family have money, she won’t make lots of demands on you, easy to have things on your own terms, c’mon, she’s such a nice girl. You can tell her, don’t go out, don’t go there, wear that red veil or don’t, she loves you and is under your command… you see. All up here… ? He’s doing all this with you logically. So, that’s why he deals with you like this, logically, cerebrally. He’s got you on breadcrumbs, he’s got minimum effort invested. His mind is telling him… ‘Keep her around.. and keep her around with your head on your shoulders. This is the man who keeps you around because you’re a safe bet.

<repeat of she’s an easy-going girl and she can be controlled and influenced>

… And when I marry her, I can always cheat on her, who cares? What could she do then?! She can’t do anything. And he’d raise his voice and get all macho on you. ‘I’m a man and I can do whatever I want.’ This is the man who has you as a safe bet.

But the man who’s afraid to lose you? That’s the man who loves you, mind and heart. Loves you and wants you and yearns for you and is not prepared under any circumstance to lose you. So, his phone calls will be many, his I love yous will be many, his checkins will be many, will buy you presents on occasions and for no reason, he waits for your phone call, he doesn’t leave you on seen and doesn’t reply for hours[long comical bit here about her trying to say it in Egyptian]… he cares about you and ask questions, ‘I want to see photos, show me where you’re at with your friends’, he doesn’t video call late at night.. he wants the video call during the day when you’re out and about. Even in an argument, you’ll call him once and he’ll call you once because he’s afraid to lose you.

So, if you’re in a lukewarm relationship [as I explained before], it’s because you’re a safe bet to him.

You seem to be a levelheaded and mature woman, so I’ve broken it down for you and I think you can see it for yourself. Ask yourself [which type is he?] Are you a safe logical bet to him or does he really love you? Will you agree to a ‘cerebral marriage’, a marriage based on logic, or do you want to love and be loved? But if you’re asking me, Radwa, I wouldn’t marry someone until I absolutely love him. Not just a mere love. I can’t make the decision about marriage until I love him from my very core. I have to love him mentally and from the heart, and I have to be sure that he loves me in the same way, he has to be convicted in that way. If I have even a speck of doubt then I won’t create that space in my life for a man. Neither will I force myself to love him because love cannot be forced.

You make that choice, you make that decision.

Do you want a cerebral marriage, marry based on logic? Or do you want to love and be loved?

Your choice, I just told you my opinion.”

I Was At The Beach

I was at the beach this past week. Gorgeous blue water under an equally sublime blue sky, sporting a scorching sun. White, rocky sand with a horizon in which your eyes get lost in.

I am one part human, one part penguin. I can be in the water all day, eschewing the pain of being sunburnt. (This year, the latter avoided by dutiful and consistent application of sunscreen.) And I channeled my inner penguin and basked in the warm familiarity of sea water. Not as long as I did in childhood, but enough to experience water. Not because it feels good or because it’s summer or because I’m on vacation, but the very force of water on my skin. The closest thing I have as an adult to the womb I don’t remember. But this is womb-like.

Being in water used to be respite and solace as a child, a place to be in for as long as possible until I would get back to the unfamiliar and impersonal world I struggled to understand. But the water was silent and welcoming. I came in, it enveloped me. I left it, it continued without me.

I fight my factory settings of being prim and proper, subdued and dutiful, but the water brings out play. Floating on my back, diving to the bottom of the pool, wiggling like a wet squirrel under the surface – an endless combination of games that require only me in silence. Water is fabulous that way. It’s a womb and home and playground.

Despite its inherent pleasure, water reminds me of loneliness. The endless hours of playing in there as a child were hours of being reminded of loneliness and aloneness. This struck me last year, when I was on vacation in Spain. A loud, boisterous pool filled with happy, excited children and parents… and there I was, supposedly in my beloved lair and it felt so lonely.

I felt this loneliness again this past week, but it didn’t crush me. It didn’t scream for medication or depress me. It just said, Remember this? And I answered, yes.

Being in the water reminds me of my very first short story that I wrote in 2015, enclosed below.

====

Love is Water

Her knuckles found home on the same line on the door. Her eyes hung low as she waited for her common sense to ebb. When that would happen, she would be assailed by the stench of pain and stale liquor reeking through the wood. True as death, it happened. Today, a stranger was present, too.

“Dora.”

It was the rare weakness in Zach’s voice. She hadn’t expected it or seen it in years.

“Dora…” Zach intoned again. Dora walked in, moving as slow as her fear. The stubborn cloud of smoke bit at her eyes. Nothing had really changed except mounds of mess around the couch and her attempts at impressionist painting had disappeared off the grimy walls. But looking down, her high heel colliding into the slimy broth of a dark night’s drinking, she saw vomit outline Zach’s leg and foot.

“Oh my god, Zach,” Dora squeezed out with her shock, as she tried to get around his body to get to him, “not again, dammit.”

She leaned down at his head, as he rolled up his head and looked at her. Her face looked like wet black chalk against the cream ether, but he saw those eyes he once loved. “Yeaaah… again, dammmmmittttt.”

“This is not cleaning up and finding peace…”

“I know… I f-f-ef-fucked up again.”

The crispness of the curse made her recoil, as she looked behind her to sink into a dry spot by her favorite chair behind her. That spot knew her droop from before she left this place called home for 3 years.

“Dorraaa… I love you… I-I-I-reallllyyy lovvvve you.”

“No, you don’t, Zach,” she shot back, with hot tears burning, “This is not love, what you’re doing to yourself. Look at this place. You’ve sucked the life out of it!”

“D… I do love you,” he said with crust around his lips, picking himself up, to sit in the locus of his life, “love is water, it’s all over you.”

It’s all over you? Says the pontificating drunk!, Dora thought to herself.

“Don’t be a dick, you’re a mess right now.” She pulled out her mirror from her purse and lunged it into his face.

“Look! Is this love! How is this love! My man of three years is this!”

“Love is water, baby, it’s waaater,” Zach repeated as he tried to make out the fuzzy outlines of his sunken face, “When you go swimming and you jump in, the water is all over you, it covers every part of you, and it’s there while you’re in there, riiiiight?”

The coherence and pithy of the words struck her. She pulled back her arm. She felt a tap against a door of her heart.

“When you-you-you’re done, and you, uh, uhm, get out, the water falls off you, it leaves you, it leeeeaves you, it faaalls you, riight? You get out and you get a drink, I need a drink, you say I say to myself, and then you sit in the sun, until the whatever’s left on you is absorbed. Love is absorbed, until whatever’s left on you is absorbed.”

The tap grew into a mad banging, along with floods of rain against the windows, as she looked at him.

“I can’t do this again, Zach,” Dora said.

“Love is water… love is water,” Zach chants in a whisper, as he turns around and lays back so that his head is near her legs, as he looks up to stare at his morning sun.

Originally published at https://medium.com/@minademjan/love-is-water-2213c77074a9

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