Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Jeddo

"Jeddo! Carry me!" He said

"Or I will run away"

"But.. I am old jeddo" said the old man, his frowning bushy eyebrows casting a faint shadow over his sunken eyes. "The years have burrowed through my bones and left many cracks behind. I am much weaker than I used to be. You know I wouldn't want anything more in the world than to carry you in my arms and walk with you one hundred times around the neighborhood, just to show everybody how proud I am to be your jeddo"

"So you won't carry me.."

"But if I do, we'll both fall on the ground. We might get hurt. Do you want your jeddo to fracture his hip and get an operation at the hospital?"

"No I just want you to carry me.."

The old man looked to the left where the main road joined the driveway by the century old walnut tree.

"Where is your mother?"

"I am going.."

"Wait. Where are you going. Don't you want to spend some time with your jeddo. I miss you you know. You don't visit me as often as you used to. Next time you come, I might not even be here..."

"But you won't carry me.."

"Come here.."

He walked slowly towards his grandfather. His eyes were counting the rust-colored leaves resting on the porch. This was their first stop, and they were waiting for the next scheduled breeze to take them on a short trip across the frontyard into the neighbors' leafdom. As he came closer to his jeddo, his nares were getting slowly overwhelmed by that peculiar smell that only old people have, the smell of sour days gone, the smell of stories and memories, and a life about to pack its things and leave. He could also smell the naphthalene, those white speckled balls that protect clothes and houses from moth and evil spirits.

He stood at his jeddo's feet, waiting. The old man leaned forward into his chair, and with both hands slowly traveling towards the kid as if asking for forgiveness, he found his dear little boy's small armpits and with a pinch of might he borrowed from the mountain next door, he lifted him up, and kept him up for an entire childhood.

"jeddo!! hahahahaha jeddooooooooo!!! I'm flying! I can see your are3tak! jeddooooo! haha ha ha!"

The smile on jeddo's wrinkled lips was wider than the stretch of land where he used to plant roses and greens every summer they spent in the mountain. When his arms started shaking from a long-sustained effort, he sat the kid down in his lap and kissed him on the cheek and on the forehead, and between the long strands of silky light brown hair covering his shammouti head.

This was it. His life. His work. His reason to still be breathing. A five year old threatening to leave if his jeddo did not carry him. Little did he know that he was going to leave anyway. Little did he know that everyone was leaving. But his jeddo knew. And yet, all he could see and smell and hear was his grandchild. His only hope of life. Not god. Not heaven. This kid, his only hope of immortality.

Soon, the mother came and took her son away. Jeddo kissed him one last time and asked for a kiss in return, which was joyfully granted. As they drove away up the hill into the mountain's side, jeddo just watched them, thinking of all the beautiful moments he was blessed with, and then prayed for ten times as many good moments for his all too precious boy.

The scheduled breeze came by on time, it carried the few leaves that were still lying there, and while leaving, gently brushed jeddo's eighty-seven year old face.

He let a deep breath in, closed his still humid eyes, and decided to stay on the porch until the setting sun told him it was time get inside, eat some toasted arabic bread with labneh, mint leaves and cinnamon tea, and sleep.

6 Comments:

Blogger hillz said...

I enjoyed reading this really!
this can be described as a dialogue betwen a kid that ignores being a child and an old man who ignores returning back to childhood. too similar generations..

9:26 AM  
Blogger hashem said...

So touching ya Fouad....I could easily see my grandfather, and feel how much I miss him...

10:33 AM  
Blogger Ghassan said...

I like how you describe the smell of old people a lot.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Rampurple said...

there is very beautifully written! i cant wait until u someday publish a book... yes u should do so...

1:16 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

you're too kind ram. but who knows, maybe one day I will :)

10:12 PM  
Blogger Voice_of_Reason said...

Oh my God Fouad......how beautiful......I heard and smelt my Jiddy again......
Yes, please write a book....

5:58 AM  

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