Thursday, August 23, 2007

This is so not working

Me : I found a buyer for your bike.
Him: How much?
Me : x dhs.
Him: Eh eltahreeg da? (Is this a joke?)
Me : Ok, I'll look for someone else. There is time.
Him: Kalimi A from Harley Davidson(Call A from Harley Davidson). Howa hayi2oolik ti3mili eh.(He'll tell you what to do.)
Me : 7adir.(Ok)
Him: Wil3arabiya (And the car)? 3amalti fiha eh (what did you do about it)?
Me : Nothing. I haven't had time.
Him: You haven't had time wala mish 3arfa titsarafi (or you don't know how to go about it)?
Me : It can't be that hard to sell a car. It's not rocket science.
Him: Mish 3aib in elwa7id lama yib2a mish fahim yisa'al(There's nothing shameful about asking questions when you don't know how to do something).
Me : I'll manage.
Him: Ama nshoof.(We'll see.)
Me : If you don't trust me to get anything right...
Him: Is that what I'm saying?
Me : I don't know. Is that what you're saying?


Him: Yinfa3 tib2i 3ayana wi nayma filmostashfa wi ma tfakarish ti2oolili(You've been in the hospital and you didn't think to tell me)?
Me : It was nothing. Just a bad case of PMS. I'm fine now.
Him: Your period? Aren't you late?
Me : Yeah. Late but not pregnant. Good news for you.
Him: Did I ask if you were pregnant?
Me : No, I thought I'd save you the trouble. I know how much you'd hate it if I was.
Him: Ana itasalt 3ashan atamin 3laiki washoof ma 2oltilish leh ma3 ini ana mkalimik imbari7 bil-lail(I called to see how you're doing & to ask why you didn't tell me). Wi ma kansh fi bali 7aga min illy inti btitkalimi fiha(I had nothing like that on my mind).
Me : La, itamin (Don't worry). I'm ok now. I didn't bother to tell you because what were you supposed to do? Rush to my bedside?
Him: Ya salam (Oh really?). Wishmi3na ya3ni 2olti lahlik(So how come you told your parents)? Did THEY rush to your bedside?
Me : My parents wouldn't accuse me of faking it to make them feel guilty.
Him: Tayeb(Ok). 3omooman salamtik(Anyway. Get well soon). Wib2i khali balik min nafsik (And take care of yourself).
Me : Allah yisalmak. Kolak zo2.(Thanks. Very nice of you.)
Him: 3ayza 7aga?(Anything else?)
Me : No, thanks.
Him: Bye.
Me : Bye.


Me : Hello?
Him: Eh eldawsha di(What's this noise)? Inti fain(Where are you)?
Me : Saks.


Me : What?
Him: Just wondering if there's any point in telling you I don't like you going out clubbing without me.
Me : Am not out clubbing.
Him: Omal bti3mili eh fi elSaks(So what are you doing there)? Bitsali elfagr(Praying)?
Me : K, am at the Royal Merdien for my uncle & my best friend's engagement party. A couple of friends asked me to walk in with them because it's Ladies Night at the Saks & they couldn't get in without dates. I came upstairs with them, stayed for 5 min and was on my way back to the party when you called. The last thing you have to worry about is me going out clubbing. Am not exactly in a party mood. If I didn't owe it to A (my uncle) & D (my friend), I would have stayed home tonight, too. Happy?
Him: And why aren't you in a party mood?
Me : Because you're not here.
Him: Listen, I'm sorry. Of course, you can go out & have fun with your friends. I don't expect you to lock yourself in the bedroom for 9 months.
Me : I was a bit confused. I mean, when you were here, I used to beg you to come with me & my friends & you wouldn't want to. How come now it's a problem if I go to the same places with the same people?
Him: I don't know. I guess I feel better when I know you can call me if you have any problem.
Me (smiling): Sure, I could call you but would you pick up?
Him: Mish kont lama bala2i elwa2t ita'akhar winti bara ba3adi 3laiki 3ashan 3ala ela2al nrawa7 sawa?(Didn't I always join you when it got late so we can at least go home together?)
Me : And that made you feel better?
Him: Gayez(Maybe). Ma ba7ibikish tirwa7i lwa7dik bil-lail(I don't like you going home on your own at night).
Me : Khalas. I promise I won't stay out late unless I have a lift home.
Him: Ya salam. A lift min meen ba2a (A lift with who)?
Me : Akid(For sure) someone you wouldn't be worried about.
Him: Thanks.
Me : No problem. If it really makes you feel better, it's a small thing.
Him: Merci ya 7abibi(Thanks baby). Yalla ana hakalim A. & D. 3ashan abarik lohom(I'll call A & D & congratulate them).
Me : Ok.
Him: Kalimini lama trawa7i (Call me when you get home).
Me : 7adir(Ok).


Same night.

Me : Hello?
Him: Aiwa ya 7abibi. Inti filbait?(Yes baby. Are you home?)
Me : Aiwa.(Yes)
Him: 7amdilla 3ala elsalama ya basha.
Me : Yi3ayshak.(North African Long life Prayer.)
Him: Yah. Ba2ali kteer masmi3tahash yi3ayshak di.(He's saying he hasn't heard that in a long time)
Me : Wa7ashitak?(Did you miss it?)
Him: Awi.(A lot.)


Me : This conversation is rapidly approaching phone sex.
Him: So?
Me : So you know I don't like phone sex.
Him: Ishmi3na? (How come?)
Me : I don't know. It just doesn't do anything for me. There's no intimacy.
Him: When was the last time we were really intimate?
Me : Can't remember.
Him: But we still had sex. So what's the difference?
Me : I don't know. It just feels different.
Him: Mashi bra7tik(As you like). 3ayza 7aga?(Anything else?)
Me : You want to hang up?
Him: 7abibi, this is long distance. Meter's running.
Me : Meter's running and things aren't hot enough for you, are they?
Him: Meaning?
Me : Meaning you'd have been happy to pay for phone sex.
Him: Sometimes you really make me wonder why I even try with you anymore.
Me : K.....
Him: Please don't say anything more. Just hang up the phone.


Him : You're getting involved in an awful lot of things.
Me : Well, now that am single again, I need to keep busy. Besides.....
Him : You're not single.
Me : What?
Him : You're not single. Inti sit mitgawiza(You're a married woman). Ana mish 3ayez elomoor takhtalit 3laiki(I don't want you getting confused about that).
Me : Why would you say something like that? What do you think am going to do? Go out speed-dating?
Him : No, I just think you enjoy making me feel like I'm out of your life every chance you get.
Me (crying) : I didn't mean anything. I was just trying to tell you about my day. I had you mixed up with someone who cares what I do with my time. And with someone who trusts me.
Him : Khalas, khalas(Ok, ok). Ana asif(I'm sorry).
Me : Tab3an(Of course). Ma inta mitzawij maghribiya(You're married to a Morrocan). Lazim tkoon khayif(You have to be worried). We're all prostitutes.
Him : Look, I said I was sorry. Just let it go, ok? Ir7amini ba2a 7aram 3laiki.


Is it my fault or his? Which one of us isn't trying hard enough? I actually don't feel like calling him or picking up when he calls anymore. I find myself wishing he wouldn't call and cringing when he does.

I think about him every single waking moment. I think about him so much I can hardly do anything else anymore. I can only bear to talk to people if they're willing to listen to me go on & on about him all the time. Otherwise I'd rather be quiet & think about him. I have no other interests anymore. And I don't have the energy or the patience to bother pretending otherwise even for the sake of politeness.

The calls are getting less & less frequent. What happens if we lose touch? The way you gradually lose touch with friends who move away?

Is this what it feels like to be divorced?

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Him: Kefaya 3laiki kida inti t3ibti. (You've had enough.)
Me : But you didn't....
Him: Ma tkhafish 3alaya. 7a2i ha3raf akhdo bas bil3a2l. (Don't worry about me.)
Me : Am not that tired...
Him: Ya kadaba(liar). Raya7i shwya(Get some rest). Ana mish hakhalas dilwa2ti.

I started to say something but drifted off to sleep. I really was exhausted.

In the morning, before I even opened my eyes, we were having sex again. I didn't feel completely awake until after but it was so good. I was so relaxed I felt like I'd never want to move again.

Eventually, we did get up though. To shower & eat.

Me : You just wouldn't let it go, would you?
Him: Allah mish 3andi wa7id ma kamiltoosh? I7na haninsob? El7a2 ma yiza3lsh.(You owe me.)
Me : You only want me for one thing.
Him: Ya bit da ana msafir bokra(I'm leaving tomorrow). Mistaktara 3alaya a3mil talata?(And you begrudge me 3 rounds?)
Me : Talata(Three!)? Ya elzalim (How unfair)! Niseet(You forgot)?!!!
Him: Niseet tab3an (Of course). Bimazagi(Because I want to). 3ashan tibatali t3ideehom 3alaya.(I don't want you keeping count.)

So we started counting - which was hilarious actually. He kept insisting things didn't count and I kept arguing. It got really silly but it made us laugh.

Him : You're ok, though? I didn't hurt you, did I?

He did. I was a bit sore. But I was thinking how much I wanted him to stay & hurt me like that all the time.

All of a sudden, I felt a horrible, burning pain start in my chest then spread to my stomach & my throat. I couldn't help it. I was crying.

He took one look at me, turned around & slammed out of the bedroom. I started screaming after him. And kicking the door so hard I almost broke my foot.

I locked myself in the bedroom & had my crying fit - complete with hyperventilation. Then I threw up everything I'd just finished eating.

I got into bed to hide under the duvet but I couldn't help listening to the clock on the wall. I counted 15 minutes then I couldn't bear to watch our time running out anymore.

I found him in the living room, smoking sheesha.

Me: You know, if it's so hard for you to handle any suggestion that either one of us is HUMAN then why do you even bother with me? Masturbation would be so much easier, wouldn't it?

I saw him get up & for a second, I thought he was going to hit me.

He didn't, of course. We just had sex again. On the floor. Without preliminaries. Without even looking each other in the face.

It made me calm down. I don't know why. I guess I just accepted that it was the only way we were going to connect at that point.

For almost a week, it's been either sex or fighting or completely ignoring each other. Sex was demonstrably better than the other 2 options so I just gave up & stopped fighting it.

Me : Fine. So we don't talk anymore.
Him: Talk is now synonymous with you screaming that you hate me, wish we never met or similar. Bisara7a mish talba. (That's the last thing I need.)
Me : I'm sorry. This is really hard for me.
Him: Yeah and I'm just having a ball, aren't I?
Me : I tried to be strong & supportive. But I just never imagined it being my job to make it easy for you to leave me.
Him: If that's your job then you suck at it. I don't see how you could have made this any harder.
Me : You don't hate me, do you?
Him: No, L. I don't hate you. love you. I'm just trying to get out of here without our marriage sustaining anymore unnecessary damage.
Me : And sex is damage control?
Him: Face it. It's the only thing we still have going for us.
Me : You mean that?
Him: Well, apart from that, I can't do anything right with you anymore, can I?
Me : Mish khayif?
Him: Min eh?(Of what?) Kol illy kont khayif mino khalas 7asal(Everything I was afraid of has happened). Ma ba2ash fi 7aga yitkhaf minha(There's nothing left to be afraid of).
Me : But what if we can never go back? What if we stay like this?
Him: La ma tkhafish(No don't worry). Kolo biy3adi.(It will pass)
Me : I miss talking with you & thinking with you & feeling close to you. I miss doing things together - other than the obvious, I mean. I feel so lonely.
Him: A2ool eh bas(What can I say)? Rabina yihdeeki.
Me : There's so much we should have talked about.

Him (kissing me): 7abibti, elkalam ni2dar nitkalim filtelephone(We can talk on the phone). 2odamna kam shahr nitkalim feehom wi t2oolili kol illy nifsik fih (We have several months for you to tell me anything you want). Eh tani?(What else?) 3iyat? (Crying?)Bardo 2odamna wa2t kbir ni3ayat feeh(We have plenty of time for that too). Mish lazim nib2a ma3 ba3d ya3ni 3ashan ni3ayat windayi2 ba3. Mish 3arif inti mista3gila 3ala eh.

Me : You really think it will get better?
Him : Inshallah. Lama nit3awid 3ala elwad3 wi inti a3sabik tihda shwya.(When we get used to the situation & you're calmer.)
Me : Am going to work tomorrow.
Him : Ishmi3na ya3ni(Why?)? Mish konti wakhda agaza?(I thought you were off.)
Me : I don't want to be here when you leave.
Him : Mish hatigi twasalini (You don't want to drive me to the airport?)? Ahoon 3laiki?
Me : Ma3laish. Better not.
Him : Khalas wala yihimik(Fine). Ana hatsaraf. Elmohim ba2a, min hina lbokra elsob7....(And from now until tomorrow morning....)
Me : Aiwa? (Yes?)
Him : Khalina ba2a fil7agat illy ma yinfa3sh tit3imil 3an bo3d. (Let's concentrate on the things that can't be done from a distance.)

Sigh. We ARE oversexed. We get out of bed only to talk ourselves back into it.

We didn't even eat that last day. The next morning at work, I suddenly remembered that the last thing I'd had to eat was that sandwich I threw up early the day before he left. We survived on coffee, cigarettes & sex. Healthy diet, no?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So he leaves next Mon. No question of me moving to Morocco though. There's too much to do here. I've got to do something with both our cars, his motorbike, all our furniture, hand in the apartment etc.....

The packing. What a nightmare. When I moved in with him after the wedding, there was no room for all my stuff. Don't ask me how things I acquired when I had one bedroom in my parent's house wouldn't fit into a 3 bedroom apartment. They just didn't. I'd had years & years to accumulate them.

The answer back then was to send everything I wasn't using to Morocco with my parents. Now over the last year or so, I seem to have bought 10 times as much junk. New fields of shopping interest, you see. Bed linens, household appliances, tea sets, dinner sets, sets of everything, all kinds of automated cleaning gadgets that all promise magic.

It's daunting to think I now have to either pack & dispose of all this stuff, plus his stuff - on my own. I don't feel like doing any of it. I love this apartment. I love everything in it. And we both put so much effort into putting it all together, making it comfortable, finding just the right corner for everything etc....

Now I have to take it all apart & go live in a bedroom in somebody else's house.

And I've got to follow up all my immigration paperwork.

And start thinking about what I can do for work over there. I have to start looking through the business cards on my desk at work to see who I know with good contacts in my field in Sweden.

And then there are the language lessons. Have got to make some progress on those. Have got to be at least conversational when I get there if I want to find a decent job. Isn't it unfair how half my European colleagues have excellent jobs with obscene packages here even though they don't speak a word of Arabic but when it's my turn to work in Europe, I have to learn the language or earn peanuts? No fair!

Am trying to make the coming seperation as painless as possible for both of us. And being me, I know I am trying too hard. It's very high maintenance being so determinedly cheerful all the time when you're as depressed as I am. So much that I am seriously starting to wish he'd hurry up & leave so I can be miserable in peace. I have to stop myself from saying something along the lines of if you have to go, do it now, am sick of all the suspense.

Sigh. One of these days, I'll pick up the trick of doing things just right. Not too little & not to much.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

He Who Laughs Last....

Conversation Overheard at work:

Vendor 1: Ok, so bloody woman with a camel doesn't want what we have.

I realize with a shock that 'bloody woman with a camel' is a reference to me & no other.

There is laughter.

Vendor 2: Yes. She'd rather have something else. The question is do we want to build it?

Vendor 3: Bruce, she represents what? 20% of the world's oil reserves? I'd say yes!

More racist comments. More laughter.

I do NOT represent 20% of the world's oil reserves!

1) The client IS a governmental entity but they don't control any oil reserves.

2) They're not my client, they're a client of the organization I happen to work for. Am just the hired help.

3) We don't represent them. We don't represent anyone. We're not lawyers. We're just their IT Consultant/Project Manager.

So in addition to being racist, those 3 are clearly idiots. But then racists so often are, aren't they?

Back in the conference room, sitting across the table from those 3, am thinking to myself that I shouldn't be upset. No matter how much they may dislike me & my camel, they will do what the client wants. And on these issues at least, I get to say what the client wants.

Like it or not, they WILL jump through my hoops. And since they were stupid enough to let me overhear their opinion of me & my race, this 'bloody woman with a camel' is now resolved to do everything in her power to ensure that they will always have plenty of hoops to jump through while she watches & laughs...