Saturday, 17 May 2014

Salah



Salah would always leave the light off whenever he got up in the morning for his work.  He had once in an early morning when he was taking his breakfast picked up a cockroach from his plastic dish thinking that it was a black olive. When he felt it crisply crackling between his teeth, he spat out right back in disgust, shouted loudly, then turned over the old three-legged shaking table. He made such a sticky mess all around. Up since that turning stomach morning, he sat out his mind on always turning the light on, forgetting about how much it scared him to look at the monthly electricity bill. Yes, it scared him... it made his mouth shrunk and sour, spat as if he mashed an unripe olive. His hand trembled whenever handing out the bill to his son to tell him how much he had to pay for the thieves as he would always say.
Probably, the only thing which mattered for him at the end of every month was to see less than fifty Dirhams on his bill of electricity. When the number slightly hopped, even five dirhams, over the fifty, he would curse everybody starting with his son who read for him announcing the verdict of how much he would be paying. He would Complain to himself about the high cost of everything he seemed to put his hand on. “The government is sucking the blood of the down-trodden poor social class. Why would I add more money to their bottomless pockets?” “Why would I make those corrupters who don't even pay for my children’s education sink in  a sea of wealth and pleasure?” he would say with the desire to cry that he felt dreadfully blocking his throat. The crippling feeling of helplessness that gushed out from his naive conviction that he was such a plebe usually made him shake his head in sympathy. “May Allah curse Satan”. With his sleeves he wiped the snot that always comes peeping out of his nostril when he is feeling nervous. Then in silence surrendered his life of absurdity to the silence he took a motto to his pitch-black mornings, and which was broken only by his wife's worries and nags that sometimes led her to superstitiously preaching at him. Whenever she did, his sulky mood soured and soared so bad turning his wanton actions into slams, slaps and punches that poor Sadia couldn't take it.