Late Night Ramblings (10)

Haven’t I promised you some l titillating titbits on my new newly enhanced book avarice?

I walked today like Atlas burdened with all the world’s libraries. I carried too many books that would have been overdue as of tomorrow, yet I seemed to have walked out with a bigger weight load than what I walked in with.
I’ll need a new post to describe the vastness of the University Library. While it’s not in any way Alexandrian, I feel like it took a liking to me; with each turn, it showed me a small gem or other tucked away between huge mounds of Cambridge companions. I’m quicker now at finding what I want, and better at just browsing until I see something nice.

Be warned, though, fellow newcomers. The Library can be a cruel bitch on your first encounter. You will get lost. You will lose the exit. You will walk around disoriented. Trying to keep your pride, you will not ask for help. Then, you will concede and ask someone for the way out, to which they will chuckle and say that that always happens on your first try.
Don’t fret. It happened to me, and the following week I was the one chuckling.

May you always have a book tucked away,


Update: How to Write Personally Without it Being a Diary.

Let’s hope I finish this off without it being the morning.

One of the main issues I struggle with, aside from trying not to sound cocky/uptight/know-it-all while writing, is trying to write on a subject from a personal perspective all the while keeping it interesting for the reader and not having it sound like I put my opinions/ideas/thought process on such a high pedestal that I think the whole world should be privy to it.  

I decided (more like I saw the opportunity and I took it) to separate my pieces. On this blog, I’ll be writing from a completely personal point of view, and will probably ramble on for a long time. On another blog, which I’ll feature later, I’ll be publishing articles and small essays that I’ve written and curated.

Hopefully, this experiment is successful. I’ll be posting approx. 7 posts from that blog between now and tomorrow.

By the way, try the blueberry oatmeal.

That is all, X

Let’s Talk About Failure

Good day, fine people of the interwebs.

A lot has happened since our last talk. Yes, I’m well aware that I’m speaking to myself, but I find it comforting to speak to you so plainly.

And plainly speaking, I feel extremely guilty for not seeing you so often. It’s been months since I last opened my blog, although I’ve been thinking about it every day. I don’t quite know how to start the conversation again, so I decided I’ll start it off by talking about failure.

Mainly, mine.

Specifically, failure in keeping up with a promise to myself, that wherever I am, and whatever future I’m living, I’ll dedicate my time to honing and developing this penchant for writing. I wouldn’t call it a talent, though. Not yet, anyway.

However, all that’s in the past. I recently came to the realization that however long I postpone it, I’ll feel more guilty, and that accumulation of guilt would serve no one, least of all me. It’s better to leave it all behind and move on.

An update, I think, is necessary. I’ll go into detail soon, specifically about my recent ventures into playwriting, but I think half a year of university changed my thinking so much that I can’t fully talk about what interests me now without boring you to death.
I’m taking classes on Egyptology, Marxism, Playwriting, and two required English courses. Those, I think, would serve as a decent backbone for my next efforts in writing.

For now, let me leave you with warm wishes. Whoever is reading this blog, after such a long time of absence, I thank you. Perhaps you skim it, or contact me if you like it, or just blow it off after reading the first few paragraphs, but thank you nonetheless. It’s an immense rush to feel that your voice is heard by many, it’s what keeps me going.

Good night, and have a good night’ sleep.


Latest Updates

A very good day to each and everyone still finding time to read this humble blog.

I must start first– as is usually the theme in most of these posts now– with an apology. I intended to do so many wonderful things with this blog that, I hope, would propel me to meeting new and wonderful people in the blogosphere.

Shamefully, I think I didn’t do very well in that area. My last post was concerning a theatrical project I was involved in, and I seem to have dropped the ball on letting you know how that turned out.

I meant to tell you what happened as of the end of my first semester at university, the holiday season that followed, and the calamity that hit the region and created an online protest amongst my Lebanese peers.

These updates will take the form of 3 successive posts, hopefully starting later tonight/early morning, ending by next week. I need to refocus my efforts if I ever hope to hone my craft and get used to writing on a daily basis.
Thank you, if you still have hope in the starting amateur blogger.

When all else fails, you may always contact me here. It would be nice to hear your voices every once in awhile.
Comments are always welcome, and if you appreciate a previous or future post, your input would be greatly appreciated!


Books Are Better Than People (Cont.)

I’ve specified previously why I believe books are supremely superior to humans.
In short, whatever you may exalt in humankind, you cannot disagree that our lives are chaotic, fragile things of pure incoherency, made up of constructs and how-tos in dealing with the ever fucked up perverseness of our illogical societies. We are cruel, cancerous beings with no hindsight or foresight. We mock that which all living things share: mortality. Not to mention our fetishism of tragedy and human suffering, we are, ultimately selfish.

Now, let me be precise in why I love books.

They are coherent, even if the author takes liberties in what he deems coherent. They expose suffering and tragedy when mankind ignores it. They are the products of a corrupt race, yet they transcend it, and transcend any half-assed writer years after they die. They are truthful yet multi-dimensional, which is more than can be said of reality. And, at the end, they are as comforting as an old blanket. They evolve with us as we grow up, which is more than can be said about friends, whom we have a habit of changing every couple of years. And, after all that, we take comfort in revisiting an old story while always finding hidden treasures on the path we took before.
True, writers, as in, people, write books. But I’d like to believe that, as a kid who throws pebbles on a river notices the ripples expanding and becoming larger than he ever was, these books will overpower their authors and dwarf them in comparison. If some literary critics are to be believed, these books would have been written anyway, by these selfsame authors or not.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. First of all, thank you to those who expressed concern over my state last time. While things have calmed down emotionally, classes are becoming so much more physically demanding that I’ve been coming back around 10 PM each day from university. I had hoped to write more on this issue, but I guess that will come during Christmas break.

Thank you for bearing with me,

In short, generalization or not, books are better than people.

Books Are Better Than People

Books are better than people.

Notice: Do not counterpoint with the virtues of human interactions. Do not see this as an invitation to provide a eulogy to the diversity of humans.

Simply put: books are better than people.

And I’ll tell you why, with a bit of backstory.

Now, I’m not in my best mood right now, nor have I been for some time.
A few days ago, someone on campus fell from the roof of the building I look at every day when I’m between classes.
There’s a lot of rumors going on how or why he fell, but none of which are the least bit couterous to this tragedy, so I won’t mention them.

I might, however, mention the shock when a close friend (of mine, as well as theirs) told us. I’ll mention how maddening it is to see someone you care about tear up; I’ll only mention this, because no ammount of delineation might do my feelings justice. I’ll mention the gloom that has been staying with us. I’ll mention that all of my friends have been asking me why I always seem tired, moody, and melodramatically morose.

Then again, I’ll mention the anger, the pure hatred I felt, when I saw jokes on the tragedy online. I’ll mention how, just hours after the body was discovered, people were making snide remarks, trading rumors, and laughing at someone who “dropped out of life.”

This was my breaking point. I no longer believe in humanity. I think the human spirit is disgusting and unsalvageable.
Books, however, are what I have faith in from now on.
I’ll always count on my favorites to cheer me up, I’ll always count on them to pile around me in my room, and shield me inside this thick papery bubble from the outside world.

Humans are disguting. Their interactions are artificial.

Books are better than people.

Late Night Ramblings (9)

Well then, hello. I believe I’m approaching my 6th week in university, and, up until now, it’s been a mix between extreme book obsession, rantings, disappointments, disillusionment, fascination, discovery, and hormones. I think I’ll be writing about all that later on, but, for now, I’m posting an unedited version of a piece of informal reading response to an essay we read in English 203. It was about home, by a Lebanese American journalist reflecting on the village of his mother, which is geographically extremely close to my mother’s village. I like this piece because it was the first English-y thing I wrote for University, and even though it shows a still-undeveloped side of my writing, as opposed to how I’m expressing myself now, I think it’s sweet and contains the sentiment of dissonance expressed by Lebanese expatriate authors.


If you crept up on tip-toe, as I have, through the long corridor well after midnight, you might hear the ghost of my parents talking about a dream. They imagined a new home in Der Mimas. It would contain all the splendor of modernity; yes, far away from where my mother grew up. I think they started feeling that they need to anchor us somewhere, to make it harder to leave.

The dream was set aside after the assassination of a friend of dad’s.

How could we dream, then, when the very foundation of our house was shaken?

A white dead German once said– and I don’t care enough to look up his name– that we Lebanese post-war first-generation inheritors do not belong, per say to a specific identity. We are in a state of in-betweenness, stuck, fallen through the gaps of where old boundaries ended and new boundaries do not extend a welcoming hand.

But, I digress.

My mother is from Der Mimas, where looking over the terrace of a now war-damaged cemetery, you could see the remnants of an abandoned monastery. Our house there is still in working condition, but I guess what makes a house is not just its rubble, but the people within its walls. After my grandmother was buried in the new cemetery, we never came back except on mother’s day.

It amazes me how fast my parents shed their longing to Der Mimas. For so long, we were told to believe that, as the sole successors to the Phoenicians, we had a duty, something rich warlords in peacetime say, to be buried here. But, I guess, the whole matter seems foolish to me. Why would I care for a fleeting country, parceled up by a complete stranger by right of conquest, in full ignorance of the racial, religious, and social feuds surrounding them? No, for me, what I will be most hesitant to leave won’t be a pile of bones in a mound of dirt under a new building that, as of by primogeniture, will hold the same power and glory as its ancestor. Home is where I know the people. Home is where I can always see my name etched on a wall, along with all my other cousins’. Home is where I see the faces of strangers coming and going, and know that to some degree, our family trees crossed branches.

I have dreams of what my home is, just like my parents, but I know that I now live in a house, that Der Mimas was not my home, nor was Ashrafieh. I know that I have never felt at home here, but I know that wherever I go, I will always hold up just the tiniest part of Lebanon in my voice. I am the fish that came to love its fishbowl, and that is all I have to say about my home.