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Blurred Vision
Jihad Samra

Sometimes, there are things that you cannot avoid in this life, especially something like having migraine as the only thing that you have inherited from your mom (and she insists that you have it all the time so that you keep remembering her). And when you have migraines, you should not go out (or eat chocolate). You should just lie in bed, with a cold bottle of water behind your neck, and try to massage your head if that is possible (makes you sleepy, which you already are). Then you do something crazy; you decide to drink coffee (very very bad) at some coffee shop in Hamra. And you sit there, everything blurred (even the noises),and you cannot focus on anything. And while you are there, an old woman passes by. She looks like a beggar (typical black clothes and head cover) but this one, was different. She did not have that make-believe sorrowful look on her face. She had little shiny eyes, the sort of eyes that shine in the dark when one is about to do something naughty. It is not exactly the type of woman who one can call proud, you know, foxy, perhaps cunning would be more appropriate. She walked slowly and swiftly on the sidewalk. In deep pain I was watching her only because my eyes were gazing in that direction. You know, sometimes you are watching something, like that TV screen connected to the security camera, and although people are passing by and nothing is the same, you feel it is the same, and then all of a sudden something is not the same and you get on alert. That happened, as suddenly her eyes started shining and smiling more cunningly and her back became more bent and leaner. She looked like a fox about to attack a chicken, and fully aware of the unobvious humor of it involved (forget about the farmer with the gun in front of his fireplace).

A fast hand came out of the black dress and she started pulling out napkins off every single one of the tables along the sidewalk. They were not worth a cent. And they were not exactly soft. and they were not even tempting, but she did it. And I just watched, not really amused, but only calculating the price of the napkins and the time she would spend in jail for doing what she did. But she was good and fast and swift, and her eyes were shining.

Done with three tables, she moved on to the fourth like a silent hurricane and as she was getting into the act, with the sleepy waiters busy elsewhere (they deserve it, they rarely pay attention to customers sitting outside on the sidewalks in the sun), her eyes came into an electric contact with mine.

I have met movie stars, beauty birds, and all kinds of women with eyes before, but I was never moved like this time. I felt electrified, and those canny eyes shone in the darkness of noon. A friend of mine continuously fights with me because she insists that her father had seen the Miracles of God and thus deserves to be a saint. Well, this woman did the same to me and even more. At that moment of clashing contact, the brightness took me on a trip to her past. I saw her a child playing with the chickens in the backyard, full of mud and dirt and yet smiling and her eyes laughing. I saw her growing up into a beautiful and attractive woman with naughty deeds on her CV. I saw her getting married to a prick who cheated on her (but she never cared). And then, a thunderbolt brought me back and I saw her stealing napkinds at Wimpy Cafe in the heart of the corrupt city.

And then she smiled. I tell you, if Anna Kornikova had smiled to me, I would have simply shrugged my shoulders and thought that it was intended at someone else. But this woman made me feel like I were the king of the world. She was smiling at me. And the eyes shining were all mine.

So the thunderbolt brought me down, a fallen angel drinking coffee and sadistically imposing the migraine on my vision, and there I was, smiling back at her. It was like a bond stronger than any known to mankind, the bond of evildoers when they spot each other in the dark. They wink at each other but no one sees them, but they see each other well.

The ten eternal seconds finally ended, and she was gone, but the smile carved on my face as well as one. Anyone. Anyone who had seen that smile on both our faces would have thought that we were lovers exchanging a kiss around a corner, the curves of our lips twinned by the hand of nature and lust.

And she was going, disappearing, vanishing, and blurred in my eyes. But I could still see the light and feel the smile. And like a robot, I helped my hand down to my untouched cup of coffee, and slowly I sipped the bitter liquid, just to make sure that it was the real world. But alas! It was the real world.