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Numb

Doctor,Doctor...I can't feel my soul!

About two weeks ago, I got hit by a bicycle. Then I forgot about it. It didn’t even register. So much so, I can’t even tell you what my reaction was. All I know is I wasn’t dramatic at all. I didn’t run after the bike. I didn’t flail my middle finger dramatically and give everyone did-you-see-that?! faces while gesturing wildly at the unfairness of the world. I picked my ass up off the floor of Brazil St. in Zamalek, walked into Quick, bought cigarettes and went home. Three hours later when I was wondering why my thigh was feeling bruisey, only then did I remember. Oh yeah, I got hit by a bike, hahahaha.

Two years ago, I wouldn’t have shut up about the bike incident until I was eating a burger. Then I would have gone on and on about how horrible living in Egypt was and do you think his foot touched me and am I going to get gangrene and die? Do you think I dislocated my hip? Where’s my mom?

Illustration by Hassan Hassan

Now, I’m all like I cut my foot on a beer glass walking the dog. No biggie. Maybe I got tetanus. Is tetanus fatal? Is it a swift easy death? Whatever. Ok so trees are burning? Where? In Zamalek? No. Am I home? What? Is this going to affect the internet? Everyone has a beard? Maybe I’ll grow one. All of these dudes on motorcycles are terrorizing our neighbourhood? Did they terrorize me? I can’t remember. Protests in Lebanon? I can’t even be bothered to roll my eyes. They’re protesting again in Tahrir. Ok, so like… what’s for lunch? Should we order? Syria? I can’t, so I don’t. What year are we? 2012? I could have sworn all this was medieval. Someone wear a corset and get me a goblet of wine.

Numb is the new happy. Instead of taking issue with everything, or finding things offensive, we, as a people, now officially don’t give a fuck. As long as it isn’t happening directly to me, I don’t care. For the first part of 2011, it was like oh my God, will I run into the shower and come out and find my whole family and the dogs murdered and some baltagy sipping a whiskey and waiting for me to stop singing Beyonce at the top of my lungs to ask me where we keep our money? Now, I’m thinking of leaving a note by the door just pointing out where everything is and asking them not to disturb me if I’m sleeping.

Sure, on occasion you’ll wake up on Friday in complete psycho mode, bathe all of the dogs in your household, drink insane amounts of wine/Baileys/beer and then spend money you don’t have in stores you don’t like (this is mainly because Bonquiqui my lover/credit card sent me abill love letter that I read as: you bought all of this shit for a whole bunch of money but you only have to give me LE200! YAY!). Then its 5am and you’re colour coding jeans and wondering if you’ll ever feel anything again. At least I wasn’t in a crack house surrounded by heroin. That’s a definite plus.

Life in Egypt these days is all about getting on with it. At least for someone like me, who has always been tittering on the verge of not giving a fuck, it has become all about living in the now. And if the now has a couple of beers and a pair of grey suede Converse, I guess I really can’t complain.


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