We left Nablus’ ancient bathhouse. On the way to eat kanafeh, we somehow ended up at a Palestinian professor’s house. He was hosting a small gathering of international volunteers and a few men from Nablus, including teachers from the nearby school. The house sat perched high in the hills. The backyard balcony offered a sweeping view of the city below. The home itself was built with smooth stones and stretches of white marble with gray swirls. From the balcony, we gazed out at hills speckled with olive trees. The sunset draped the world in a blood orange glow.
I don’t know how the joke started, because I wasn’t paying attention to the group. I was busy nagging the school teacher with jowls and an untamed moustache. The one who brought us here.
“Let’s go, you said we were going to get kanafeh in the shuk,” I whined. He had promised we would just stop by this house for a minute to “say hi.” My host, a school teacher I met that same afternoon, told me the taxi would take us to kanafeh in the Nablus city center. I bit my lip when it drove us somewhere on the distant outskirts of the city instead. I had no idea where we were now. We entered a huge white home without any real furniture or shelves in the living room. Inside it felt like a skeleton without organs.
“We’re hitting the streets to encourage others not to be afraid to make sacrifices to fulfill your aspirations. Live passionately. The amount of time we have blood pumping through our hearts is too little to wake up every morning miserable.”—
Come to my side, I will open the gate We have always been connected unlock me with your tongue plug into me with bolts of tenderness our unity revealed is the light of truth manifest I was once the prisoner of a little pond you are the sapphire ocean come, merge with me leave this tropic of ignorance you will find your spark deep inside me buried in a white seashell stretch out your hand I will open the gate.
She pressed her phone against her ear, veiled in frizzy red hair. I don’t remember his name. The lover with the moustache. She breathed cigarette smoke, wriggling gray and wisps of ash. Blinked her tired eyes. He said he missed me…