من رسائلي إلى ماريا... "هل تعلمين لماذا أكره الاشتراكيين؟"
From this vast universe, on a public road, specifically from the gas station queue, I write to you.
Good morning my darling Maria... I just woke up. I can hardly feel my legs, for sleeping in the car forces me to bend them all night. But I feel optimistic, they told us that the tanker will arrive today.
My number is 846 in the line at the gas station. It's a slightly high number, but I pass my time planning the life I will be living in my imagination, trying to make it as tranquil and peaceful as possible.
Don't worry, you are a part of it of course.
My tobacco bag and my pillow are with me, and I have half a bottle of still water. Limestone collects at the bottom and chlorine floats on top, while the pure liquid that may quench my thirst rests in between.
I would like to inform you that I have made a new friend, a 76-year-old charming old man called “Abu Louai”. He won't stop talking about his five children and their success in life. I nod and smile and go along with his chatter, even though this conversation is to my ears like daggers to the heart, for I had also dreamt of being successful in my life and of my father proudly boasting of me in front of strangers.
And what a nice old man he is, waiting in turn in his son’s stead. If I had asked my father to wait in line for me, he would have crucified me, and after my death he would bury me tied in chains to make sure I would not be able to rise again.
Life is actually prosperous and we are thriving here. New booths have opened up in celebration of the long queues, while the ice cream seller parades back and forth on his bicycle. Yesterday, I even witnessed the sale of one of the cars waiting with us in the queue.
They told us that the fuel crisis will end very soon, but of course no one will believe these socialists.
Do you know why I hate socialists? Because they always lie, Maria. They promise us something and always do the opposite, and the justification is always ready; how capitalist countries are always fighting us.
Do you know what the difference between capitalism and socialism is? The difference is that in socialism, you stand in line for bread, while in capitalism bread stands in lines for you, Maria.
“Do you know what the difference between capitalism and socialism is? The difference is that in socialism, you stand in line for bread, while in capitalism bread stands in lines for you, Maria”
Now enough talk of dinosaurs that had survived extinction, and let us talk of love a little.
Do you know how much I love you and how much I wish you had a foreign nationality? I would’ve immediately asked for your hand, Maria.
Do you remember the gas canister I gave your grandmother as a peace offering between us? She took it with a naïve look on her face as if telling me, “If only my granddaughter loved one of our rich relatives, he would have gifted me a field of natural gas!”
Forget this. The gasoline truck has arrived. People are overcome with happiness. What a joy, Maria!
The gasoline truck will need around an hour to unload and around two to fill up the cars of those with a ‘white feather on their heads’. For those with a ‘red feather on their heads’, the fuel arrives to their homes in plastic bottles we only dream of drinking water from, Maria.
The line has begun to move. People rushed to their cars. We started moving at a rate of five cars every 45 minutes.
“The problem is that they trample our faces from morning to evening in this country, and when I come to write to you how much I miss you, suddenly I remember that I have dignity and pride”
Night has fallen. I have one kilometer left to get to the station. The tobacco bag is almost empty. The water bottle needs a tea bag just to become drinkable!
The line has stopped and hasn’t moved for almost two hours! And the enemy did not send us a messenger to tell us what was happening!
We unanimously decided to send a scout on foot.
One of us volunteered to go, only to return half an hour later to tell us that the fuel had run out.
All faces turned sad, and all hearts heavy.
But I trust that we will find some consolation in our shared evening as we listen to the stories told by the elderly waiting with us, and then we each go to sleep in our own cars.
I know I don't usually tell you how much I miss you.
The problem is that they trample our faces from morning to evening in this country, and when I come to write to you how much I miss you, suddenly I remember that I have dignity and pride.
But today is not like any other day. I no longer have the strength for pride, for I have lost all my strength to hunger.
I miss you, Maria.
Wait for me, please wait for me, and don't listen to what your grandmother says.