Of Nothing in Particular Or, A Self-Portrait

Prose written by Saad El-Asha on Tuesday 18, September 2018

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An autobiographical parody from some years ago.

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Tripoli's buses, with their loud bass-systems and crowdedness, are moving nightclubs. Aside from architectural differences, they lack something a nightclub has. Passengers aren't dancing; they're fuckin' tired and under-orgasmed. They might share the second physical state with most clubbers. I have a special affinity with those buses because they're my moving library. While I'm usually compelled to listen to a load of aged shit in taxis (always aged), I find refuge with my book for half an hour, surrounded by lovely people. In my hometown, it's a different story but, essentially, the people are the common denominator. I've always been out of place; never attached to land. Being a humanist, I've never conformed to the Gesellschaft – I fuckin' love German - I've always been a community guy who treasured individuality. I would say I'm an anarchist but, bloody hell, I haven't even read Proudhon! For me, Libya has always been my family, my few friends, its culture – including its own jokes – and my childhood. It's a train station that should've lasted for 15 years, tops, but definitely wore out its welcome. Sadly, many estranged young people, such as I, are driven by hate; hate for Islam, Libyans and the petty state of the country. Being an atheist didn't mean I had to demonize my mother and many people with whom I share memories; that doesn't give me the right, though, to trash them if I didn't. Giving oneself a moral weight isn't always easy; I hate preaching and self-righteousness (Isn't that also …...) When I started forming the bits of my identity in early adolescent years, I didn't need to know that a thousand years before that, a man by the name of al-Tawhīdī, had simply seen human beings as equal creatures, whether born with flat chests or vaginas. Of the relatively long intellectual history of ours, rarely has there been a cool polymath in the time of witch hunts and potatoe famines – as trends. He's always struck me as having an aura of awesomeness; you could imagine such a man walking into an orgy by mistake and not being shocked at all. He would only grab a glass of water because that's why he let himself in, in the first place. He afterwards would leave quietly or join. It's his decision to make.
I was once asked why I looked older than I had been three months ago. It was the only time my aging code was broken; I call it quarterly aging. You notice aging in most people each year, in me every three months. I don't say I'm tired. I HAVE BEEN tired for years; tired of making compromises, not exploring my potentials, not movie-going …. But that's not the point. Psychologists have a name for it. I'm not complacent with the terms 'proud' or 'thankful', for the obvious reasons. I'm glad I've never succumbed to black-and-white morality, where I've often released my middlebrowish ripostes for its supporters who never understood them, and I loved it! I'm glad I keep doing nice things to assholes from whom I never received niceness (No a Jesus fan, though, or any of his under-appreciated predecessors. Except for Buddha, perhaps. He's got cool ideas about education and shit). I'm glad that I never generalize my personal experiences, in the sense that everything I've written here isn't a manifesto of Good (duuuh!), that it can be expressed differently, manipulated and expounded further – impressions? – That a self-portrait of mine is forever changing and of nothing in particular. I remember being both bullied and a bully in sporadic reigns of bullyhood. I remember killing a tortoise while feeling bad at the same time, punching a boy in the nose while having an urge to hug him and apologize. People have a name for that. But how cool it is to meet an everyman/woman with a Tawhīdī attitude!

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    This rant proves one, and only one thing. You're human. Shocked about that?