Orange Lies: I

Baby…
I mean -- Dear…
I mean, Hello!
Yes, hello – this is more appropriate.
I hope you won’t be very sorry—given all that you’ve inflicted upon me—that I abandoned you.
It wasn’t true that I cried after you were gone for a whole week. It wasn’t true that I used to sleep quietly after seeing you, that you were my only Qibla, that you were my only prayer, that you were my only reason for living. And other things like that.
Do you find these words, nowadays, too antiquated? After seeing you, I was always thinking, I’d think with you or without you, it didn’t matter much.
It wasn’t true that I spent whole days—every day—waiting for you to deign to see me. Every day is a chance won from God, a chance to live fully. In fact, I often wished you wouldn’t come. I wasn’t in the mood to see you, to hear the accusations of laziness as they stirred up the particles of dust that covered my books.
I told you over and over that my house was your home. It wasn’t ever true. My house was never a place I wanted to share with you…
It wasn’t true that you were the only war raging inside of me, that you were the only war in this whole universe that ever managed to disturb my peace.
Wars took away my childhood and my youth. I used to carry the coffins of beloveds with my heart of white cotton. Even the tick-tock that you heard, that you imagined was my heart beating with love for you…it was just the tick-tock of the watch I left under my pillow to keep track of the hours of my life. Sorry my heart wasn’t there with you. It was just the watchmaker, my meditation. Near or far from you, or when you are far away, or when we break—it makes no difference. Those words are nothing but expressions. Love is a game of loss.
It wasn’t true that I couldn’t understand your language. I knew it perfectly well. I knew all those nouns, verbs, subjects, objects, case endings…I knew the rules of composition, the places that should be stressed, the active voice and the passive, the past, present and future. Perfectly. According to the needs of this heart and the needs of this head. In order to avoid being duped.
It wasn’t true what you said about me, that I was like a school girl. That I was no slyer than a child. It was never true! While you were talking on the telephone, I asked you to relay my regards (to your mother!) and you danced with the joy of your cleverness and my innocence, the innocence of a five year old! You were wrong to feel so joyous about all that. Because I knew that the woman who kept you in a constant state of anxiety—the other woman—was not your mother…

It wasn’t true when I said that you were the only one capable of giving me meaning as a woman when I wasn’t sleeping alone. But you were the one who never understood that –my whole- as woman ,were only inside me when you were beside me.

It wasn’t true that I was longing for – crying for – my mother a few days ago (our poor mothers! getting caught up in the game, not gaining anything, not even a mouse!). No. At that moment I was outlining this end, outlining it before beginning to execute it. I wanted you to hold me close, a goodbye. I wanted to disprove your theory about the intelligence of that little five year old. So, you see, it’s not true that I abandoned you without saying goodbye. Don’t you remember our last embrace, how passionate it was?

We were like children, playing in the yard with neither rules nor toys. So, we played an imaginary game. We couldn’t even recognize whether we were two rivals or just two shadows of upright figures.

It wasn’t true that I suffered hunger and fatigue in order to earn what I have today. I only said that to impress you. Because your life was always more painful than mine. All of my family’s hardships—those days of hunger—were no more than three days of my life. Just three little days before my family sent more money.

But it was very true that women everywhere have fallen for you. It was also true that I loved you—but it wasn’t true that your love was enough to keep me from wondering about your arteries and your veins. Just like it wasn’t true for those other women

It also seems true that you didn’t know you loved me until today. Today, as I held three bags with one hand and closed the door with the other. It wasn’t true when I said all that about my feeble fingers and the strength of your hands, when I asked you to hold my purse. I could see that your fingers were weaker than my own—as you see, we were never healthy enough to be a lovely couple in a true story.

Yours Sincere—

Sorry, I mean: Best regards.

 

                                                                    Ed. Hodna Nuernberg
                                                     28 September 2012