Introduction

Excerpts

Mazen Khaled

How to Buy



This is the story of citizen Abel. He is also a she. He is tall and he is short. He is little and he is big. He is strong and he is weak. He is pretty and he is ugly. He is cunning and he is silly. He is happy and he is sad. He is outspoken and he is shy. He is black and he is white. He is simple and he is hard to understand.


She walked out of the room, noticing for the first time that her husband had a tattoo on his behind. Is that new? It couldn't be, he's never been alone for more than two hours for twenty years. Hum!


That night, Abel ran to the woods, tore all his clothes off, and kept on running, jumping up and down, and shouting Ida's name at the top of his lungs until he was out of breath.


Finally, Abel learned how to channel his anger. Being a strong son of a gun, he started taking his anger out on his friends at school (he was a strong son of a gun) and later at any one who happened to look into his eyes at the wrong moment (have we stumbled upon the reason why leaders have driven their peoples and countries into revolutions and wars here?). A few complaints came in, but Abel eventually learned to ignore them.


What is it about human beings that makes them so preoccupied with borders! Small wooden fences around houses, imaginary lines in shared rooms, personal space, all are constant reminders that human beings share with other less developed (in the conventional sense) animals their primordial concern for marking territories.


Abel did not mind his society's peculiarities -that is before he discovered that they were not peculiarities. He did not even mind his elderlies' constant bragging about what they had accomplished by the time they were his age, for he had learned to recognize that as the human habit of hanging on to what one never got to have. It was all fine with Abel, as long as it did not stand in his way, that is.


Adon sat down and watched his wife laying down the table. His growling stomach added to his boiling nerves to form a pleasure-less hardening feeling down between his legs. He walked up to his wife's back, lifted up her skirt, and pinned her hands down on the table. She resisted faintly, eventually shutting her eyes to pain and shame, as he started to take her from behind. Sodomy loomed in the air. As he was finishing, he violently released her, turned her around, made her lay on her back, and took her the normal way, dropping plates, knives, and some dishes unto the ground. Lamb chops where sticking on the walls. He came roaring, removed himself immediately, buttoned up his pants, and started picking up whatever food was left at the table. He cheerfully announced: "who ever heard of dessert coming before the main course!" The million plans were forgotten in a flash!


"Then it happened."
"Then what happened?"
"You know, the light at the end of the tunnel. I followed it, and it led me out of my mother's belly."
"First time I opened my eyes, I saw a group of old women, all glancing, examining, fixating on my crotch. As my baby vagina dawned on their hungry eyes, they all changed their expressions."
"So you see, Abel, I learned about husbands and shortcomings at a very early age. All the comfort in my mother's voice could not soothe the bruise that I felt was being imprinted on my heart, a bruise I immediately sensed was going to torment me for a long time."


A few years passed before Abel realized that, although he had gotten considerably richer, he was still going about beating people up whenever a burst of energy came out from deep within him. It became evident for Abel that he had to leave. He just woke up one day and said to himself:

"Citizen Abel, this is not your life."

He remembered what Ida once told him about his possessions losing meaning. He had not gotten rid of that feeling. In fact, the feeling had gotten worse. Even seemingly insignificant acts were making him depressed. Abel would be getting a hair cut and he would feel depressed because he would think what's the use, it's gonna grow back anyway! Abel had even stopped shaving and showering, and when he drove his new fuchsia car, he felt as if he was touching a wart.

"Well Ida, here it goes."

Abel gave all his possessions away. His fuchsia car, his house, his personal belongings, even his clothes. He showered. Then he shaved, and he knew that his beard would soon grow back. Strangely, that did not depress him. It actually gave him a strange tingling sensation down between his legs, a sensation he identified as being aware of being alive.