August 30, 2014 — Pros and cons! :)

Dear L*,

I am now writing to you from a cafe in Hamra. I am situated at the end of a shared table, sitting on a modern red chair. A guy of an indiscernible Arab nationality places his cigarette smokes and Diet 7up on the table in front of me, he’s busy with his phone, and two couples on a table nearby, discuss trivialities as the girls laugh occasionally. The Syrian waiter is talking to the African worker about Syria. I think of you always, and in between, I read. 

Egyptians are producing Sisi embellished panties and perfumes. The minister of justice in Lebanon, Ashraf Rifi, is calling for dire punishment for the actions of youth who have burned the ISIS flag in Ashrafieh, as the flags had sacred Islamic writings on them, and thus should not be burnt or ridiculed in any way. Some are joking about whether it is possible to strike a killer machine that has the sacred words on it. Could ISIS’ weaponry, adorned with religious texts, become unquestionably the “sacred cow” for some? Of course I won’t lend my thoughts to snowball fallacies, but it is a question worth asking under this particular circumstance. The situation has spurred the solution-oriented creativity of a blogger on how to burn flags of terrorists without upsetting sanctity.

I was also reading about Darwin’s life-long struggle with anxiety, which was tolerated by his life companion and wife with whom he had ten kids. I also came across his list of pros and cons on marriage. It is delightful to read it!

I am copying and pasting an extract (full text here):

” Marry

Children — (if it Please God) — Constant companion, (& friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, — object to be beloved & played with. — better than a dog anyhow.– Home, & someone to take care of house — Charms of music & female chit-chat. — These things good for one’s health. — but terrible loss of time. –

My God, it is intolerable to think of spending one’s whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, & nothing after all. — No, no won’t do. — Imagine living all one’s day solitarily in smoky dirty London House. — Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music perhaps — Compare this vision with the dingy reality of Grt. Marlbro’ St.

Not Marry

Freedom to go where one liked — choice of Society & little of it. — Conversation of clever men at clubs — Not forced to visit relatives, & to bend in every trifle. — to have the expense & anxiety of children — perhaps quarelling — Loss of time. — cannot read in the Evenings — fatness & idleness — Anxiety & responsibility — less money for books &c — if many children forced to gain one’s bread. — (But then it is very bad for ones health[19] to work too much)

Perhaps my wife wont like London; then the sentence is banishment & degradation into indolent, idle fool – “


I think it is cute, don’t you?

Like Darwin, perhaps you had a similar list at one point in time?

If I were to come up with a list of sorts, I would say:

To Skype with L*

Pleasant feelings- speaking to L and seeing him on a screen – being able to not say anything, because seeing him is enough and one does not have to talk the whole time like on telephone – so happy to talk to the elephant and watch his face and facial expressions!!!!!

Anxiety due to not being able to touch L*- complex dreams that perhaps are trying to make sense of the dissociation right after Skyping – feelings of immediate yearning and resentment at not being able to go immediately to meet L* – irritation at not kissing and hugging him

Not to Skype with L*

But I cannot not Skype with the elephant, I would not miss such an opportunity!

Well, hmm… I will now drive back home, will get a hydrating cream for eyes from the big Hamra pharmacy first.

I love you elephant :)










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