The March of a New Man
On the first day of March, two nurses frantically wiped me down clear of the warm amniotic fluid I lived in for nine months, oblivious of my screams. The room was very cold, very loud, and very bright. Everyone around me had smiles on their faces and a gentleman with average height (who seemed to be struggling in maintaining his weight) stood afar video taping the whole ordeal. A woman strapped on a table appeared to be in discomfort. The nurse carried me over to the woman and the man called over for her to look in my direction. She set eyes on me and teared.
I was put in a diaper, wrapped in two blankets and placed in the arms of the man who sat by the head of the woman. The woman couldn’t stop looking at me and her eyes remained teary.
After a while I was transferred to a corner of a huge room but was surrounded by curtains. They kept asking the woman if she can move her legs. The man and the woman both started fumbling with small black things. There was a lot of beeping, ringing and clicking. Occasionally they would start talking loudly into the black thing. They both kept saying the same thing every time they spoke into it.
I was enjoying my first meal of colostrum and then blacked out on the chest of that woman. It later came to my knowledge that that woman is the only source of nourishment that I had. At some point the man held me in his arms and whispered the call to prayer in my ears.
Later on in the day a blue eyed blonde girl showed up, and she was distraught at the sight of her mother in bed with IV needles in her wrist.
There was a pink box set beside me and they told the blue eyed blonde girl that that was a gift from me. She asked to be picked up and planted a kiss on my forehead. For the next 2 days a new pink box was placed beside me before the blue eyed blonde girl would come, and her parents gave it to her and told her it was from me. She would plant a new kiss on my forehead.
I spent 2 nights in room a where various nurses came in every few hours to ask about my feeds and diaper changes. They took my temperature a few times, pierced my ankle to draw blood, stuck a probe in my ear, tickled my foot, placed their fingers in my hand, rotated my thighs, took my weight, and shone a light in my eye. The woman who stayed in a bed by my cot whom I later deduced was my mother was in much pain for most of the time. She struggled to get out of bed and needed help in her mobility.
My mother’s blood pressure was monitored, and her wound was constantly checked. The man who was around all the time, my father, was busy tending to the blue eyed blonde girl. They called her Yusra.
After the two nights I went to an apartment where I lay in an orange cot and slept most of the day. I would feed every few hours and then get vigorously patted on the back until a weird sound came out of my mouth that amused my father. In the evenings I would be gassy, but my parents were bothered at that more than me. Maybe from the cries I was making but I couldn’t help it.
Yusra would pop her head over me a few times a day and shout greetings over my head calling me “Rawi”. Her enthusiastic greetings would scare me, but I would still look forward to them.
A few days later I was taken to a clinic and a Jewish doctor sprayed something cold between my legs and sliced something off. It stung me every time I peed for a few days. A scoop of ointment jelly was applied to a gauze and placed between my legs for a week to follow.
A lot of people would come and would be served a brown, cinnamony, caraway pudding with nuts. I would later be displayed before them.
Every other day I would be placed in a small blue tub of warm water that reminded me of my pervious home. I missed the sound of my mother’s breathing and beating heart.
When I was about a month old I was taken to a clinic where a few metal needles were stuck in my arms and legs. They stung like nothing I have experienced before. Literally.
Yusra would be absent from the house till noon, and when she returned she would be frenzied. My father wouldn’t be home till the afternoon. The only source of comfort I have in this crazy place was my mother.
I didn’t mind that my father still preferred to be called Abu Yusra. It didn’t matter that my father’s grandfather owned acres of land. It wasn’t of interest to me that I was born into a Palestinian/Lebanese/lived in the Gulf family. I wasn’t worried about what passport I held. My family name is of no importance.
None of this will define me.
In a few years my education shall begin at the expense of my imagination, but for now I have no opinions or thoughts about anything. I didn’t care that Tangerine Tango was colour of the season, that the new iPad was released, and that the ML has changed its shape. I only had feelings towards my parents, they seemed like an OK bunch. I just can’t believe that my father posted the first minute of my life on the internet. It will make high school for me a breeze.