This is Reality

Yesterday, they told Ying that she must not eat until she’d had her CT scan. She was hungry but they made her wait until almost 7 PM. When she got back to the room, she was ravenous. She ate the Thai take-out self’s brother had brought for her. And she promptly got a stomach ache. Self went to the nurses’ station to ask if they could give her a heating pad or a hot water bottle. The nurse at the station said that the hospital had no hot-water bottles or heating pads or anything of that sort.

This morning, a tall, stoop-shouldered and slightly disheveled doctor came. He told Ying, “The results of your CT scan are not good– er, I mean, not bad. Not catastrophic. You are a very brave patient. I wish you the best of luck. And, is your family here?”

She was having trouble sleeping. Worry clouded her eyes. Self read to her a passage from Act I, Scene 1 of Tony Kushner’s Homebody/ Kabul. Granted, that is not the most uplifting of reading material, especially for someone in Ying’s condition, but self plunged bravely on (with voice somewhat tremulous from emotion):

From Homebody’s monologue:

There is an old Afghan saying, which, in rough translation from the Farsi, goes: “The man who has patience has roses. The man who has no patience has no trousers.” I am not fluent in Farsi, of course, I read this, and as I say it must be a rough translation. (She reads from the guidebook):

Alexander the Great summoned to the Kabul Valley a might army comprising tens of thousands of soldiers from Egypt, Persia and Central Asia and went on to conquer India. When Alexander’s own troops grew weary of battle, in 325 B.C., they forced their commander to desist from further conquest. Alexander died in 323 B.C., just as he was planning a return to the Hindu Kush to oversee the Grecianization of this most remarkable land.

When self’s brother and nephew arrived, self went home. And, perusing The Jerusalem Post, she encountered an article on p. 4 about Jaffa. With Ying’s worsening condition, the chances that self will ever make it there become increasingly remote. But she can imagine it: yes, she can really imagine it. The article was written by Dan Izenberg.

Rights Group: Israel is Driving Out Jaffa Arabs in Favor of Wealthy Jews

The Arab Association for Human Rights Read the rest of this entry »

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