Thursday, October 8, 2009

Among The People Of Menthol

"Hello Rabbit, is that you?"
"Let's pretend it isn't", said Rabbit, "and see what happens."
- Winnie The Pooh, A. A. Milne
Some weeks back when a customer wanted to make some money selling the beer he had, he asked my co-worker "do you drink beer?", he heard the answer "I drink only blood. Fresh human blood. You got some?". I have quickly realized how my body reacts when something annoys me to an extreme in a short period. I feel a rush of blood on my face beneath my skin. Alhamdulillah I always know what not to do when I feel blood on my face. Though I calm myself down quickly smiling more at those who face me, I know it's all amounting to stress.

One of our professors said there is a federal directive that some information on flu is read to all the students in the classes. A thing which many ignore, which he thought should be said prior to anything else, is the point that more people are dying with common flu than with the swine flu which seems to be more threatening. That's a different thing. What was important for the class is that we are not supposed to be in the university even if we are planning to sneeze after an hour. The professor said he would sit with us again to explain what we have missed if that happens. He will give us his time only after we get back to normal. He said he doesn't want to die.

Some medical agency is afraid that the virus causing common flu would mutate and grow into a deadly organism that could possibly wipe out a quarter of the present human race. That sounded like fiction to me. But I understand that's just the worst case. Keeping worst case in front of us helps us make smaller the effect of what could be already less than the worst. The virus will not mutate inshAllah, my co-worker bought no beer that evening - he stopped drinking eight years back, I know my store is not competing with Walmart on prices - every customer who fights will have to leave - and I met a man who spent 37 years in prison - he lives in west Dallas. 90% of menthol cigarette smokers comprise women and African-Americans.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Story Continues In Texas

I hope you have lost your good looks, for while they last any fool can adore you, and the adoration of fools is bad for the soul. No, give me a ruined complexion and a lost figure and sixteen chins on a farmyard of Crow's feet and an obvious wig. Then you shall see me coming out strong.
- George Bernard Shaw, to Mrs. Patrick Campbell
I had been thinking of writing since evening without even a faint clue of what. I got back to my apartment at 1 am. I knew I had one curry in the refrigerator even if there was nothing else. I thought I could have it with rice. I realized I will have to cook some to enjoy the curry the way I wanted to. Instead I heated three tortillas and had them. It was satisfying but something seems missing. I had cup full of soda with five cubes of ice. I think I will have a banana after I am done with this. I badly need some continuous undisturbed sleep. It could be such a luxury.

The next holiday I will have will be in the last week of November when my classes end as scheduled. I haven't seen the schedules yet but I guess they will end in just around Thanksgiving. In December inshAllah I will go to India. I am looking ahead for that trip but I am worried about a few things. I want to be pretty clear with why I am going there and what I shouldn't be doing when I am there. It's 3:25 am right now and yesterday at the same time I was in the university studying. It gets so good with very few people around. Fall weather is a thing to enjoy. I find no time for that.

Some days back when I sent a message to my brother on Facebook asking him to shave his beard, our cousins interrupted and came in his favor. I asked them in a polite way not to interfere as I talk to my brother. My brother replied coming against me. I realized I was interfering in his life. It's such a great idea to have an evening for myself spending it under an open sky, watching the birds gather before they go to sleep, see the sun slide away and feel the air loose it's temperature. I will do it someday when I get to India. I wish there will be nothing to worry about then.