Thursday 8 November 2007

The Enemy Within (2)

I have a thousand things to do, but simply can't be bothered...I am not very domestic. I guess I've been badly trained.

Is that not what they call pets you keep at home ? Domestic pets - well groomed and trained domestic pets.

I absolutely find no joy in scrubbing floors and dusting...Nor do I find any joy in washing dishes, or cleaning windows...

My joy comes in listening to music, writing and reading...amongst a few other things.

But domestic work is not one of them. And I keep forcing myself to do the unnameable-housework.

I know it sounds rather kooky but I do pray asking "God" to make me do it, tomorrow,

But, I do clean my bathroom and kitchen daily. These are two spots in the house that have to be spotless always. So am a maniac of some sorts...

The rest is the "strict minimum." And even that is too much for me. I need a housekeeper for sure and a secretary to file the tons of paper I've been carrying around, nearly all my life.
And this is what will remain of this adventure called life - papers. So fucking surreal don't you think ?

Anyways, getting back to domestic work. I have always admired and envied a little those female friends who tell me "I absolutely love doing it" - housework that is. Or "It doesn't bother me one bit - am a cleanliness freak" of course implying if I, Layla, don't do it as regularly as them, then am not clean. Which is bullshit of course.

My house is very clean. It is a miracle that is it so clean bearing in mind that I don't clean it like a freak - except for the bathroom and kitchen, that is.

Take for instance this story. Some weeks ago, I had to go and visit a relative of a relative who was in hospital. She died since. Nothing to do with my visit though.

Auntie Nadeera. She was a lovely woman. She was over 70 and had diabetes, high blood pressure, a heart condition, the whole works. She also had the most amazing sense of humor and she laughed till the last minute - before slipping into a coma from which she never woke up.

She had lost her husband when very young and had one child and she never remarried.
And she was also from the "old school", very veiled but very cool about "it."

"It" meaning sex. Not that she engaged in it but she talked about it and laughed her head off which was kind of refreshing compared to the stuck up, puritanical female relatives gathered around her hospital bed.

So I visited her and she was sleeping, so I went to the adjacent room where all these female crows were seated, drinking coffee and chatting away.

These things happen in hospitals here. Everything is an occasion to gather and chat even if the person next door is about to die... I guess it makes it less lonely - this business of dying.

So, as I said, I went and sat there amongst these female crows.

Knowing Auntie Nadeera's background and foreseeing the kind of people who would visit her, I made sure that my clothes were very conservative. I wore a pair of blue jeans and on top one of those long Indian tunics that covered the o'so lusted after contours...

Seems it's not only men who lust after contours, women do too, in their own perverted of ways.

So I sat there, like a "good girl". All the women except me were veiled. And not any kind of veil, I may add.

The veil that looks so fucking ugly...And it consisted of a scarf tightly knotted right under the chin, none of that nice colorful mousseline veils, that are soft to the touch...No, it was some ugly scarf knotted so tight, right under the chin...
And with this heat, a long thick coat, tightly buttoned right up to the neck, and with this heat, thick socks so no one can admire their fucking toes...

They were not Iraqis by the way - my only relief.

One of the females offered me a coffee which I graciously accepted when all I really wanted to do is run out of there. But I also really wanted to see Auntie Nadeera and give her some of my affection just in case I never see her again...

The "women" were chatting about domestic chores, cleaning and coooking...And how wonderful it is to be a domestic housewife who fulfilled her duties and kept the house tidy and clean for her husband and masha'Allah what husbands they must be!

And lo and behold, the subject suddenly turned to trousers. Women wearing trousers.

One of the crows, let's call her Salma, 50 something, perspiring under her layers of puritanism, and she was the meanest of all crows for someone calling herself a very pious muslim...

She looked at me whilst talking about trousers "Trousers in Islam are HARAM" and she stressed the word "Haram" with clenched jaws and clenched teeth..."Women who wear trousers will go to hell..."

I felt a charge of evil energy fall upon my lap and onto my trousers...I nearly spilled my coffee...I felt I was already in Hell.

I gathered whatever calm I had left in me and said "There is nowhere in the Koran that says trousers are Haram, this is just an invention - a bida'a, besides if the body is covered, where is the Haram in all of that?"

"Are you teaching me my religion?" She retorted in a strident voice.

"No, but you seem to be teaching me mine" I replied still trying to gather my calm.

"I am telling you it's haram even if a woman pretends to wear a tunic over it."

Obviously, this woman was picking on me and using religion, her brand of religion.
She reminded me of the many men I come across who do exactly the same thing.
Hide their neurosis behind their religion and their beards...She hid hers behind her ugly scarf, buttoned up coat and thick socks...

One of the other crows whose name was Nawal, sensing that this will go out of control, changed the subject.

"Tell me Salma, how is your son doing in Amerrrikaa?"

Salma's face lit up. I was no longer the focus of her meanness - now that the subject of her favorite phallus came up - Her darling of a son in Amerrrikaa.

"Ya Sobhan Allah, Allah yehersso. (Praise to God may he be preserved), Yi'bor Umo, dakheel oyono (may he bury his mother's heart, may God preserve his eye sight), Wallahee he is the best...But poor thing he can't get a residence in Amerrrikaa, you know the Green Card..So I told him, Ya Ibnee, (my son) marry one of those American women for the card, even if she's no muslim, it's OK...and when you come back here, I will find you the best virgin ever...Ya Allah, Nawal, why did you remind me of him, my heart will break now..."

Then Salma, wiped a few good motherly tears and sighed...

Need I say more? I think not.