My arab

by Ella Kanegarian Göktaş

The arab looked at me, while slowly biting a small part of his chunky dark chocolate colored lip and said:

“Your neck should be here instead of my lip, you know, but for now I’m shy. Only now. I’ll bite my lip one more time, but not for the third time, got me? I’ll bite you. You know? You know!”

I nodded my head. I knew.

Somehow this arab was very clear to me, though I was seeing him for the second time in my life. I really got him, he could even not bother himself explaining, but he did, so did I. You know, when you are sure that you are standing in front of someone, who gets you out of nowhere and without any explanation, what you start doing is overexplaining yourself… Because you know that he knows what you mean, but don’t believe it yet. Not quite yet.

Whatever. This arab could explain himself greatly without using the Shakespearean vocabulary consisting of more than a million words. Nah, arab needed less. Few swearing words, sprinkled with few poetic ones and tons of adjectives. He could pick from a whole flow of synonyms the one, which was meaning exactly what he wanted to say… amazing, especially if I add the fact that his sentences were all poetically short, strike to the point as a business contract, but not deprived of depth and freedom of interpretations, which was letting him change what he said due to the mood or his needs. The words or phrases, which he wasn’t sure about were all veiled with a blurry shade of metaphors, which could make an amateur person dive in and get lost in the labyrinth of meanings and senses. But I wasn’t an amateur swimmer and can never drown in the ocean of words. I am the ocean. Or I think so. Probably that’s why I don’t know how to swim. But whatever. He cut my chain of stupid thoughts with his deliberately sharpened accent…

“Khalas, bass (Finish) it’s the third,” he said and without waiting for any reaction from me, stood from the table and reached my neck wriggling like a huge snake. I was expecting a bite, my veins froze for a while, but it was just a kiss. He kissed my neck.

“Ah, this is what you call a bit…” he didn’t let me even finish the word “bite”, when again came closer to my neck and Bit me, deep and very hard. I felt his wild teeth so deep under my skin I wasn’t even able to scream or resist. He did it for me to understand that he never jokes and never throws words in the air. I didn’t say a word. Now I got him.

The Arab smelled different than I imagined, not bakhur and not roses. He smelled with a luxurious perfume, so anyone who’d be near him would understand that he is standing in front of a man, who has his very place, his very path and will never bend or leave it or exchange for anything else, even if he desires to.

“put the donkey`s dick where you came from, your mother`s pussy” he threw this merged phrase with as much anger as was possible. While saying it he became black, so dark. He took the phone and started talking with a very different voice and tone. When he threw the phone he was again the same, different color, different smell, and different voice. “Sorry, my love, I asked them not to call me today. Today, I`m all yours. But only today”  he mentioned, which exaggerated the fear he had from being taken or owned, which initially should create an immediate desire of owning him or having him, but I am so deprived of female Ego I felt only the loveliness of his fear. The only desire I had was taking him from the neck like I`d take a small but wild cat and throwing somewhere he belongs to, so he could run free and never come back.

He was speaking, I wasn’t hearing him at all, just imagine what type of animal he looks like now and how much this environment filled with meetings, business and talks, talks, talks doesn’t suit him… all I was hearing was him adding “my love” from time to time to catch my attention. It wasn`t working though and to be honest “My love” started annoying me, not because I was being a typical woman, thinking “Interesting how many more are called that way”, but because I wanted to say it too, but was afraid. During my 30 years I learned to be cautious with beautiful words. I love using them, but men never get it. When I say to my casual men “my love”, they start getting scared or on the contrary, get too close, thinking I imagine them sleeping on the same pillow with me… but no… it’s not about sharing pillows or a deathbed… it’s just about LOVE. I LOVE myself and each one who touches me and becomes part of my life for a second, a day or a month is MY LOVE… nothing more… nothing more than LOVE. Interesting how we created a monster out of love, adding so much unnecessary shit to it, that it became a scary construct, which we try to avoid, though we spend a lifetime searching for it. We search for love which is there, but it is too simple for us to notice, because we search for a Godzilla-sized monster, while it is just like a blink, playing on our hand for a while… not long.

“Why does this culture perceive a woman`s love like a prison and the male love like a liberation?” I said, getting very annoyed, but the Arab interrupted me and started to speak.

“Which culture? Mine? Yours? Or the one we have in common? This globazabralation or what the fuck you call it… aahah… one of my frrriiends shared a Chinese quote in Facebook… orrr maybe not a Chinese… who can ever know… whatever, it was written: “the key opening many doors is a good key, but the door being opened by many keys is a bad door”. Hahah sharmuta!! You should see how many people have liked it. All of them think the same, doesn`t matter how cool or modern they look, their brain is stupid… doesn`t matter they talk about feminism or take cocaine from my palms and sniff it, they think I am a stupid Arab, the cross on my neck is a useless decoration and you, my love, are a bad door, opening yourself towards un unknown key. Ahaha… Let’s have champaGne and go to my place, my little lockless door.”  I felt uncomfortable from that last phrase, catching myself on being more fragile about social standards than I thought I am, but thought of being an ocean saved me, maybe I`m too big for these words and society to frame me… I was restlessly trying to save myself in my mind, he got it and quickly corrected himself as fast as possible, filling me with peace instead of hurtful doubts.

You, my love, are an open door without any lock because there is no way back from where you take. So don’t even try to lock yourself from me and please don’t ever put on this much makeup on your eyes. Not with me”

 My ocean stood still. No one was throwing stones towards my waves.


from the series of essays “MEN: Living, Appearing, Hiding”


My arab

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