In Memory of Saad IV

Story written by Saad El-Asha on Monday 17, September 2018

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Part Four

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I’ve never had a flat tire because I don’t drive. I’ve never made a special meal; I don’t cook. I’m not very fond of swimming pools; I don’t swim. But I love time machines and I think that living with one’s parents isn’t a stigma, as deemed by most of the civilized societies including liberals. The latter item owes much, mutatis mutandis, to “cultural” differences. Both Saad and I shared the above-mentioned sentiments and capabilities. This brings me back to his deep infatuation with time machines. Saad loved movies immensely. Cinema for him was a necessity, not only a passion. Watching movies was an essential experience of his daily life. When he lost a dear member of the family, he attended the funeral the whole day and went home at night to watch a movie. He didn’t think it was inappropriate; movies for him were life itself, even at times of mourning and upheaval. Dreaming about his deceased dear ones took a specific form which brings me back – again – to time machines. He told me they always visited him and the rest of the family in a virtual time fabric, where everyone involved is aware of the dead being visited in the past. The dead sometimes know they’re dead and sometimes they don’t. At other times, the dead have only one day every year or so to visit whomever they wanted to, but that’s irrelevant in the dream, because it was Saad’s dream and he didn’t give a fuck about the dead’s wishes, which, on the other hand, do not conflict with his (That if wishes conflict). It was hard for me to grasp the fact that time machines were involved. That a certain passion of his would appear in a mournful wish like seeing your loved ones once again, but I wouldn’t understand, because, simply, the way he employed his emotions was different from mine. He then started writing obituaries for people he’d known. Those people were still alive. The first one was his father’s. He accepted it wholeheartedly because that was the only way through which he could know what his son felt, and because he’d hoped his son would become the writer he’d always wanted to be, although the text was overtly facetious. The second one was for me. It is impertinent to unravel its content. The third was for his girlfriend. By the fourth time, people around him felt that enough was enough. He made it for his neighbor who was a sheik. He didn’t change the style; moreover, he increased the classic devises of bawdiness. The sheik liked it. He and Saad were a bit close, despite of the fact that he knew Saad had always been an atheist. It was his mother who told him to stop because she didn’t like the idea in the first place. He stopped writing obituaries, but he had a hard time overcoming grief. “I’m wondering when I’d stop using the time machine and move on”, he told me, when we finished playing football. However, Saad hadn’t been thinking about death that much. “We Libyans are the best to overcome grief”, he once noted, “Believers, atheists or magi, we just roll on. Never mind those obituaries; it was only my way of praying”. I certainly knew that he’d moved on when he started, once again, tackling contemporary issues inside of the country and abroad. One day he sent an e-mail to Oxford University, stating: “Dear Sirs, First of all, don’t you fuckin’ dare correct my grammar with your mind(s)! Of late, I have been curious about one word in particular. The word is 'cunt'. I have read a lovely article about the origin and use of this one-syllabic bomb and why it extremely makes your faces even pinkier. I still think the impact of the word is overrated, and there are many other atrocities in English or any other language. However, for the sake of argument, I hereby (I know ‘hereby’ is misplaced here) demand your prompt condemnation of the word ‘dick-head’ or just ‘dick’ for the obvious reasons. Warmest, Sand Nigger P.S. I know you didn’t create the word, but you know exactly who’s responsible”
   

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    Oh, my! What a slap in the face to Oxford!