Nothing Makes Sense. Why Should I?
Last Sunday can be described as domino of events, falling into each other in some sort of synchronized pattern, that lead me to find a deeper meaning of not just my Arab identity, but specifically my Palestinian roots. In the evening, I went to practice yoga at my studio in DuPont Circle. 112 degrees, 2 liters of water, and 90 minutes later, I was done with class and ready to run home. As I exited the studio building, I walked smack-dab into Washington’s Gay Pride Parade.
As a result of my inner little girliness, I was sucked into an hour of streamers, glitter, make up, drag queens, beautiful gowns and an extremely flaming flag dancing, whistle-blower (literally) that would bring anyone to laughing tears. After a few Mardi Gras beads, neon condoms and candies were thrown at me, I decided I was pretty tired and should head home.
In my typical distraction, I charged right on into a bead store, right off the circle towards the Metro station. Pledging allegiance to my eternal identification as the daughter of a folk artist, I was mesmorized by all the different glittery cups of beads, neatly organized on a huge central table – like a dining room table set for 24, everyone with their own Mezza of colorful beads, threadable ceramic flower beads and metal creations. The allure of that colorful skittle-like rainbow feast incited my inner puzzle solver, “these beads need to find their homes on my neck! No fear, it is me little beads. If I see you, I will buy you.” I thought to myself.
After a moment of utter bead-induced gluttony, (on a student income, mind you), I proceeded to take a taxi home. I gave up on the Metro, with the lines after the parade… there was no room on the train to fondle these prized possessions I have collected on this semi-sacred-me-time I have forcefully founded. Flirting with the cars on the road, I attempted to hail a taxi. I hailed a taxi alright… right into a stack of sale books on a cart outside a used bookstore. “This is the original ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ book!” I instantly reconnected with my old friends the Twits and Matilda, that Roald Dahl so brilliantly fed my overactive imagination at a young age.
I proceeded to enter the bookstore, charged and direct (in my typical form), I quickly descending on the Middle East section. I rate a bookstore based on its Middle East and Arabic language section. I guess everyone rates their bookstores based on their own interests – maybe that should be the first question I ask new friends here. Just a thought.
The activist literature on Palestine was astounding, fascinating, no…. it was absolutely marvelous. A treasure chest of my mothers history that only the offspring of the Nakba generation, who heard the stories, the horrors and the romance of Palestine, could truly imagine the mix of relief and fight I felt inside my gut. Or, if you were Christopher Columbus, you would also understand.
So, thou makest loveth to the Middle East book section, pushing up my permanently fixated imaginary glasses up my nose. Apparently, the benefit of being in the nation’s capital is that you get the diplomat’s bookshelf leftovers.
I walk home. My heel spur’s reminding me, in every step, that the pressure and impact sometimes is tolerable when the adventure was meant-to-be.