Thursday, October 29, 2015

There is this thing that happens when you are unsettled for learn to keep the ends of yourself that like to take root tucked in. You learn to be untethered. You pack your bags better. You learn the beautiful art of arriving, being, then leaving. You figure it out, even if you aren't planning to. We, us human beings, are quite adaptable. We will even adapt to impermanence. Which is why staying put was beginning to feel like the most bizarre thing to do.

I am here, and I no longer feel like a tourist. I'm enrolled in a school. I have an address, a flat to come home to(a flat to reference with the very word home). I have to-do lists and places to be at certain times--the making of a schedule, which I could not successfully find for myself in Cairo. I can walk home from class, at night, and not be bothered once. The cafe next to my school knows my face(and my order: pb and banana with a lemon-mint).

We had the last of our curtains installed today. I had to slip Egyptian one pound coins into the bottom hem to keep them from billowing out so much with the flow of air conditioning. The winter months are quickly approaching, which brings sweet relief after that relentless Dubai summer heat. Day temperatures in the 90s, nights in the 70s. The wind today was extra strong, pushing limbs out of the way to expose more of the nearby skyline.

The wind also mocked my budding green thumb by whisking away a plant of mine to the parking garage below.

For me it is the little things. Riding the metro with a perfect accompanying song in my headphones. Constantly falling for the afternoon light. Buying fresh strawberry juice. The beautiful, fluid nature of the rear delt crossover. Sand sneaking in between my foot and sandal as I walk home from the train. The mime I share nods with outside of my school. Stumbling on odd little charms.

Much of my days are filled with purposeful movement. I move until sweat pours. I have discovered a new poetry of the body. Muscles moving in melody. I've been weightlifting for just over seven months now, and my body has changed, bringing with it a shift in mind too. When I get stuck in my head, I go to my breath. When I get stuck in my head, I go to the gym. When I get stuck in my head, sometimes I stay there until I'm too tired to stick around. Some things never change. Most things do.

I can't help but marvel at how unaware some people are. The daily things. I get whisked away by the grind too, but lately I'm moving to dodge more and more people who are too busy looking down at their phones to notice that they are about to walk straight into a person. Bodies so consumed with getting onto the train that they barely leave room for people to get off it. Walking around in the Middle East in general feels a bit like a game of chicken. None of these things are surprising. I walk around listening to comedy podcasts, trying not to bust out laughing.

To celebrate a brief break in studying, I'm digging into a writing project that I've been kicking around for a while. For years, easily. For November I'm hoping to unravel some more creativity here--my shipment from the states should be arriving this weekend or next week, which means access to all of the writing I've kept--bar napkin scrawls, third drafts, class assignments, brainstorms galore--a nice file box of importance I put together in 2014 as I prepared to leave Pittsburgh.

More soon. I'm off to find some dinner.

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