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The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Friday, May 06, 2005
Not Here

For some reason, Syria comes to me like roadsigns on a lonely stretch of highway. My friend, Suhaimi is doing a voiceover for a script on the ancient history of the country, and its modern amenities as well, and has been practicing the pronounciations of exotic names - Palmyra, Krak des Chevalier, An-Nuereddin, the last of which happens to be a hamam, a bathhouse promising "all the pleasures of Rome".

It lies in wait within the pages of the book I'm reading, a scandal priced at under ten ringgit found in the bargain bins of Giant :
"Now this, Lady Marchmain, is the caravan at Aleppo in the-courtyard of the inn. That's our Armenian cook, Begedbian; that's me on the pony; that's the tent folded up; that's a rather tiresome Kurd who would follow us about at the time. . . . Here I am in Pontus, Ephesus, Trebizond,Krak-des-Chevaliers, Samothrace, Batum -- of course, I haven't got them in chronological order yet."

"All guides and ruins and mules," said Cordelia. "Where's Sebastian?"
I should like to pack my bags and catch the first flight to Damasacus, but not least for reason of ruins or antiquity or even bathhouses for men. You see, for the past week, Syria is where Saiffudin is.

I have been dreadfully miserable.

Of course, I can live without Saiffuddin, I just don't like to. I have borne his absence abominably, and long distance phone calls made fervently at 4 am in the morning, are means for me to channel my sadness, and vexations. Phone calls do not dispense of any relief; especially if you have a husband who seems to say all the wrong things. (What am I talking about? All husbands say all the wrong things)

It's such an oversight that husbands are not endowed with telepathy, the way wives are. (We just sometimes refuse to read the signals) .

Gentlemen, when you are away, the first thing you should say to your wife should she take the trouble to call, is to proclaim how much you pine for her. No other information is as important. For example, I am not particularly interested in the fact that you took a leak at the Jordanian border, even if tanks formed the impressive milieu to your expulsions.

Saiffuddin, like most of his species, did not say he missed me -- until prompted, and even then I am thinking it is his loins that crave me the most.

I am grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. I am irritated to be put in a position where I think of him twenty four hours a day, plus three Greenwich time. He's travelling the length of Syria, through deserts and dead cities, and I wonder if he has sand in his hair and warmth in his clothes. He is tired, I understand, but I am a wife, and therefore unreasonable.

His loins might have to wait one more day upon his return.


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