Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Wolf of Babil

I was walking through snow again, taking gasps of cold air and struggling not to shiver. It was a suprisingly nice feeling, despite its foreignness. The small town looked so dead as everyone walked with such lack of speed and enthusiasm.

In my dreaming wonder, I was shocked as grey and white pigeons filled the sky, their wings beating furiously amongst the dead calm. They were flying up...i had approached the middle of the town centre and on my approach all the pigeons had flown up in anger.
I watched them and walked off uncertainly.

As i slowly walked on the stone slabs, a voice seemed to get closer and closer, as did the passionate strumming of a guitar. A huddled man sat on a chair, his hair curly and wild like a haggard lion. His voice was so clear and full of emotion as he sang, and everyone walked by, as if he had no existence.
I stood in front of him as he sang. I grinned like someone who had never heard music.
After singing two songs he looked up at me (still grinning), and gave me a small pitiful smile. Maybe everyone is used to having people singing on the sidewalk. I don't think I'm used to it, perhaps that explains my awe.

An elderly couple looked at me standing in front of the lion singer, and stood a distance behind me. I'm not sure if they were listening to the singing or not. They were leaning on each other. I took it as my cue to walk away slowly, the music trailing behind me.

Through the cold I trampled,as the melancholy voice of the singer filled the air so loudly.
I was surprised that it seemed no one could hear him.

"Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes

I shivered in my three layers of clothing and thick furry coat. I quickly remembered to walk quietly and slowly past the centre to avoid the apocalyptic fleeing of the birds.
It didn't work. As soon as I came near the circle they all took flight. I frowned at the white sky. There was tens of people walking around the centre, yet as soon as I approach they swooped into the wind.

A few seconds later I mentally scolded myself for being paranoid. Coincidence does exist.
My frown wore off as the soothing voice in the distant sang a more upbeat song.

I walked only a few steps when a local stranger spoke in his accent. An accent i thought that could exist only in the soaps...but apparently some people had that accent in real life too. I smiled as i turned, to ask the stranger 'pardon?'. He repeated himself, and his words caught me between bewilderment and amusement.

The words instantly made two images flash in my mind.
One was of when my grandfather (god rest his soul). He took me to the furthest orchard to show me the Iraqi wolves.
They stealthy walked in circles in the orange light of sunset. Their fur was long and matted, in twisted clumps. Their eyes sparkling yellow in the approaching night. They were muscled yet their bodies looked like they had been dragged to hell and back.

The second image was of my father. Whenever he was/is proud of me, he calls me 'theebat babil' (ذئبة بابل), which translated means 'wolf of babil'. I think there was a time where that used to annoy me, but recently when he has used it, I have shrugged it off.

In my mind, the conflicting images of bad wolf and good wolf ran around.
I didnt want to think of myself as like the iraqi wolves, sauntering secretly.
I smiled sadly at the strangers words;
"its because you're like a wolf"...
'Maybe' I replied, as my eyes scanned the flock of birds scattering in the sky.


Sandybelle said...

so you are "theebet babel" ha?

its a very nice post tout tout.

take care of yourself 7abeebti.

Anonymous said...

Touta the Wolf!

Nice post, again.

Touta said...


hehehe la walla mareed aseer theeba, yi5awfoon walla :P

inshalla inti ib alif kheer sandy :)

being wolfy isnt an attribute i thought i could have :D

Ihsiin said...

I don't know what to say, apart from I really like this post.