Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Let's Talk About My Uncle

γειά σου! (Hello in Greek )



I’m usually the one leaving. I’m usually the one saying goodbye. I’m the one who leaves everyone behind. I’m the one who cries. I’m the one who’s speechless. I’m the one who gets in the car and drives away with my family spraying water behind me.

Not today. Not now. Not at 5:30am. I’m not the one leaving and saying goodbye. I’m not the speechless who gets in the car and drives away with family spraying water behind me. No. not now. Not today. 

We were at Bestoon Samad sitting laughing and screaming at the restaurant TV which was showing Iraq vs. Morocco. “hiy shditsawy??? Laaaaa! Dee rooh hichy!!” what are you doing??? Nooooo! Go this way!!” as the reporter screams goooooalll for Morocco! No, no, no!! 

Bestoon Samad - A Kurdish restaurant in Baghdad
Beautiful Paintings
The bread was AMAZING! I think I ate a whole piece!
Me and my Auntie shared Cordon Blue and we still had leftovers! It was great :)
My Chai

Its okay, Iraq will recover. We will win. Less than five minutes later, “Goooooooallllll!!! For Morocco!!” “de sed il telvevion!” close the television already!” my uncle tells the waiter in a joking matter. 

We laugh and eat and take our time with the night, wishing it never ended. At the back of my mind, at the back of all our minds, there is a clock ticking. Threatening our night.
I knew I was going to miss my uncle when he leaves the moment he arrived. After an hour, I knew I was going to miss his humour. After a day, I knew I was going to miss his long walks and conversations. After a week, I knew I was going to miss his cooking. After a month I knew I was going to miss him. 

I didn’t sleep today. I didn’t close my eyes. I didn’t even try. He might leave without saying goodbye. 3:30am, I look at the clock. It’s getting late; I should put my head on the pillow. No! not now! You have to say bye. 

You’re being stupid, Sara. It’s 4:30am and you’re eyes are starting to drip of tears. Stop it! He misses his family; his wife and children god bless ‘em. His boys; he raised them up to be men; standing strong and firm with a future. Don’t forget his princess; beauty is among her eyes and smile. A prettier girl you have not seen, a prettier eccentricity you have not met. I must tell you of his queen, a polite and pleasant wife. I love this queen, so spiritual and dutiful I have not seen. I wish to this family all the love and hope and wealth and beauty and peace and courage and for all their wishes to come true. And this is truly what I believe. Why don’t you pray with me?
Wow. Its 5:00am and it’s nearly time. But what is that sound? Could it be? He’s already awake? I have to see.  

“Hello” I smile to him. 

“What are you doing up?” he says
“I didn’t sleep; do you want me to help you with something?” 

“No, thank you 3any.” 

My other uncle arrives with his car; he cut his sleep to take him to the airport. He’s so kind; he takes us everywhere, even if it’s in the middle of the night. 

I go and make the fastest tea in the world and I add hale and I bring it to the boil and I serve two stikinat for them. I wanted to ask them how my chai was, but I was too shy. Why didn’t I ask? It’s too late now. He’s in the car. 

My mum kissed him goodbye. My grandma kissed him goodbye. My auntie kissed him goodbye. I’m last to kiss him goodbye. I’m always last. I never want to be first because I don’t want people to rush me. I have to say goodbye properly. I don’t want it to be short. I don’t want it to be too long. I want it to be at my own pace.  

I don’t remember what happens next, even though it just happened. It’s too fast, the way he left the house. But my goodbye was just right. We spry the car with water behind them, and it’s over.
Goodbye my dear uncle. I’ll see you soon, inshallah. It’s off to your family now! I know they miss you just as we do now. :


The song at the TOP is a song originaly by Frank Ocean. Anything Frank Ocean is great. This is a cover by Andrew Garcia & Daniel De Bourg.