Wednesday, May 11, 2011

warding off the evil eye[ball]

My siblings..yea, we still dare each other to do things

“Kakkeh,” yelled my mom’s classmate from 39 years ago. “Kakkeh!” he repeated.
I turned to the man as my eyes questioned “whattup stranger--are you talking to me?!”
Amu guffawed as he yelled, “you look just like your mother. 100% Kurdia, your poor Arab father didn’t get a genetic say on this one!” This is the guy we refer to as “mom’s crazy friend.”  We love him, but he is crazy—good crazy—always a riot. I laughed as I popped a fish eyeball into my mouth, only because I will never be too old to take dares from my older brother and sister. Amu laughed louder as Zayneb choked on her bite.
“You’re the wak7a, Kakkah. Huh, Haleema—we know who your trouble maker is! Not like your sister, she is the good girl!”
“Precisely,” laughed Mohammed in a 1994 moment.
“I’m warding off the evil eye…ball” I joked.

The laughs stopped for a moment as my mom’s friend went on to talk about how, after 39 years of practicing dentistry, he was able to buy his first house. Under Saddam, he explained, his salary did not equate to $5 a month.  Many physicians, dentists, and engineers resorted to second positions, as cab drivers and laborers, to make ends meet. Since Saddam went down and salaries went up, he had finally been able to make enough money to move out of his parents’ house.
After a beautiful reunion between my mother and her former classmate, we hopped in our bodyguard’s car to return to the palace.  Suddenly, my dad, mom, brother, sister, and I fell into a deep stupor. Worse than that post-Thanksgiving dinner kind of stupor. Our bodyguard, Sa’ad, laughed. “So you ate, Sabra’s famous s’boor fish, huh?”
“What?” I asked.
“It’s makes people dizzy and tired; it’s a delicacy,” he continued.
We returned to the hotel at 4 pm to all fall into a long, deep, and almost unwakable sleep. About 5 hours later, Zayneb woke me up. “Kakkeh, mom’s crazy friend drugged us! With that fish! Its 9:00 pm and we are invited to dinner in 15 minutes!”  
I spent the rest of the evening feeling like I’d been hit by a bus.

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