25 April 2016

Photo bomb

– Work – Money – Health – Lies – New car – Flooding – Still no boyfriend – An upcoming business trip – Rapid aging – Overall appearance of professional incompetence – Not reading enough – Not writing enough – New “Doctor Who” still a whole year away –

And I can’t even make a decent .gif of my feelings because Qasurah gets in the way.

Tomorrow will be better.

It will all be so much better.  

You’ll see…

19 April 2016

One more worry

Here I lie in my bed, staring out the window at the sky. The sky is very blue, not clumpy gray like before.

My head does not budge from its position on this mattress, which is comfortable. I scan the blue sky for clouds.

As I’m doing this, there is a spot – a speck, a mote, a something – that moves with my vision. I mean to say it goes in the same direction my eyes go and at the same speed. There. I roll my eyes upwards and it moves up. I roll my eyes down and to the right and it moves down and to the right.

It is not a bird.

It’s not a flying saucer. Nothing like that.

No, there is something on my eyeball.

I cannot look at it directly because it moves with my focus. Of course it does.

Think, Naz, think. I know. Yes, I’m going to rub my eyes in the hopes I can rub it away.

I cannot rub it away. Not just that, but the longer I lie here, looking, the more specks I notice. Now a squiggly little line, like a cursive capital L, at the right edge of my vision. Now something like a snowflake over on the left there.

My eyes must be filthy! Collecting trash and dust for years like two little brown landfills. Probably there are little hairs, scraps of paper, perhaps even those long lost car keys floating around in there.

I blame Ammi and Abbu. Growing up, I was never warned of this. I was never told, “Good night, deary. Now don’t forget to wash your eyeballs before bed.”

What a mess I am…

14 April 2016

Good evening, Mr. Rushdie

It was last year at a rock concert that I met Salman Rushdie.

Only it wasn’t a rock concert, really. Not per se. It was small show by Robyn Hitchcock, which is to say sort of a Monty Python meets Captain Beefheart sort of thing with an acid folk bent. You know what I mean. If you can imagine that, then you know what I mean.

Salman Rushdie was sitting at a table at the back, drinking beers with a heron-looking woman. The lights were low but in my mind, I pictured her as looking like a heron.

And the show had not yet started so I walked up to his table and I said, “Masaa al-Khair, Mr. Rushdie.” I was not one hundred percent certain it was him.

He said hello, or perhaps “Good evening.” I moved in to shake his hand but then thought better of it. I pulled back. I said I did not know if I was allowed to shake his hand, what with there being an Islamic death warrant on his head and all. I did not say that last bit out loud but it was implied.

He probably believed I was about to kill him.

I did not kill him. Instead, we spoke of magic realism and especially of how underappreciated Jose Donoso’s Obscene Bird of Night is.

Later on, I kept wondering if it had really been Salman Rushdie at all. Then I stumbled onto this tweet:

09 April 2016


I posted about Syria once. This would have been back in February, I suppose. Lots of people looked at that post about Syria.

Back then, while I was preparing the post, I saved a lot of pictures. Some were of people but most were of buildings. The pictures of the buildings were strange. Surreal. They looked like someone had taken a pencil eraser and gone to work on them.

I have become a bit obsessed with looking at these pictures of disappearing cities.

03 April 2016

The one about the string

I first encountered the Infernal String on Milam Street downtown.

It was clinging to the back of a sharp and slender woman – a lawyer, I suppose – as she clicked down the street, talking of important matters on her telephone.

Her suit was dark. The Infernal String was short but white.

It was no more than a thread, really, but it screamed out to me. It screamed out to the world. Why did no one else notice? Or, if others did notice, why did no one say anything?

This is how civilization breaks down.