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I think it’s high time I revealed an aspect of Saad’s fears. I say aspects because I’ve never known whether he was serious telling me about them. They might not be fears at all. What he told me could be a humorous statement, a false discourse. “As for polemics”, he once wrote me, “I’m too dumb to debate with anyone, even with those who are dumber than me – who, on the other hand, might possess the audacity to debate in the first place – but I’m smart enough to know so. Whoever equals my average IQ and grammar is my friend. This goes without saying to everyone willing to debate with me, although no serious polemicist would, in a million years, do so. Here’s another “so”: So, I have been both the winner and the loser of any given argument, whether by having the slightest flick of merit or by fallaciously proving what, in the first place, needs not to be proven. See how my love of humanity is limitless!”
What he told me could only be a concernment he’d once had and got over it. Here’s what he wrote:
“For the obvious reasons, religion urges us to love god more than anyone so we would avoid committing sins; same old story. When people get involved in the process of living, they tend to come to terms with their humanity and explore it further on a daily basis; they embrace a random rule of accepting mankind of all backgrounds and shit; same old story. Now you and I would never call that a sin. People who suffer from either lack or overabundance of life (You know the movie) get to stand vis-à-vis with this issue. You and I are not concerned here. We might use the term ‘sin’ only for mundane reasons; those of ethical tendencies – universal code – and those of idiosyncratic origins, which usually fall short of what we might call ‘a serious talk’. To name few, we call chatting-while-watching-a-movie a sin, as well as being a fan of Justin Bieber (A universal object). But then, as a humanist, I’m always fascinated by what’s called ‘modern tragedy’; people who live for god want to do good for non-believers but they fail miserably, and vice versa; devastating results ensue . Conversely, this applies to anyone doing what they think is right but they have the same results. The trick is: it’s not misanthropic.
Now that it seems we’re heading for another civil war, I’m ‘forced to reflect on mortality’. I’ve always done so but – naturally - by living. I’m always thankful that I don’t need testicular cancer or a car accident or a civil war to do some reflecting. But then, you do reflect, as if by involuntary chemical processes (Other reflections are governed by the same processes, of course, but not similar in purpose).
I’m thinking that my only professional encounter with filmmaking would be with the terrorists. That the last image I would ever see is a group of hairy lunatics decapitating me, and millions of people will be watching that on YouTube. This is worse than testicular cancer. Here’s the reason why I’ve turned more repulsive by mentioning twice testicular cancer and decapitation (I’m aware that there is nothing more jarringly annoying than mentioning terrorists alongside most of what I wrote, especially chemical processes):
This is due in no small part to neurosis; letting go a certain activity I’ve done in the past and still doing it, though in small part: writing a false memoir in Arabic that I, reasonably, do not intent to publish. Wouldn’t it have been better compensating that wasted time with – my utmost joy – watching movies?
Here I am doing the same thing, writing you a letter in English, as if we were bloody Brits in olden times (I wouldn’t say in the Victorian era). Why do I keep using bad syntax (not that I know a good one) to make fun of this language that you and I – as Borges said – wish had been our birthright? But then I’m glad having Arabic as my birthright and I would be the same for each single language. Why do I always keep abusing non sequitur – for the obvious reasons – even in this letter? Why do I keep using American expressions as the easiest vehicle for Nonsense? (You know when I use the British ones)
But then, writing letters isn’t integral to being British, of course”
Saad wrote this letter by hand. He had it sent to me by his younger brother while I was having lunch.
When we met at night, he asked “Have you seen the movie yet?”
I saw the movie the day after. It was Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills. Only then I realized why he’d pulled such a stunt.
Saad and I have few things in common. We both love parenthesis.