Friday, March 16, 2012

Lost and Not Found

Sometimes the most painful experiences are the ones that give us the strongest lessons, the lessons that last for the rest of our lives, the lessons that haunt us in those moments we let our guards down and let the memories creep through. But the pain and the haunting, they're part of the learning process, part of the inscription made on the tender tissue of our brains, meant to be there so that we don't forget, even when we think we did.

It seems that my most recurring lesson, the one I never seem to learn right apparently, is loss. I wonder if it's the strongest lesson in humanity, the one with so many teachers, the ones that people learn each in their own way. We start off by losing our favorite toys, our favorite coloring books, our favorite crayons. They sound silly but didn't they mean the world then? We start with the little things then we move on to bigger more important matter; to lose friends and familiarity when one switches schools, to lose grades in an exam that for some reason seems like the only purpose in life for an eight year old, to lose parents or grandparents or favorite uncles or aunts. As we grow older we start losing innocence, some even lose faith. I know for sure I lost my bravery and curiosity somewhere in the past few years. Finally, it is not unheard of that some people lose all pleasure in life till they get to the point where they lose hope and let go of it all. Those lose themselves, and I don't know if they ever find it again.

I've lost a lot of things and a lot of people. Some people I lose to death; people that matter more than anything. One of them was and always has been a complete stranger. Some were people that were always there and always taken for granted, but you never know how much they mean until they're not there anymore. One man in particular was the loss of my life so to speak; the loss that made anyone else seem less important. His loss was my ultimate lesson even though I've learned so much from so many other losses. In a strange way that makes no sense except to me, I'm grateful for losing him at that particular time. God rest the souls of all of our loved ones.

I've lost a lot of people because they were figments of my imagination, Which is probably the lesson I never seem to be able to learn; stop filling in the blanks in people with what you (I) think should be there. I've lost others when they're masks got old and became a little less opaque, a little less craftily painted on their faces. I've lost people to stupidity; mine and theirs. And some people lost me, too. When it comes to losing people, I believe we lose little bits and pieces of ourselves that we make especially for them, and because of that we will forever be the incomplete puzzle, the ever growing puzzle, with some pieces left to the imagination and new pieces being made all the time. The trick is not to lose too many pieces or else no one will ever be able to make out the puzzle.

I have this very dark room in my mind. Its walls are round so I never know where I am when I'm in it, and the things in it are always changing places. Funny even though it's so very dark I'm always blindfolded too, as if the dark isn't bad enough. Most of the things I lose in that room are memories, but sometimes I find one or two that fell off the shelf. One of the memories I found recently was of the smell of tobacco on a hand, but it had to be good tobacco. I spent a few hours trying to place it, but it came back to me in the end; it was how my father's hand used to smell like when he came back from work at the end of the day. Actually it was how his hand smelled like all the time! Last time I smelled his hand was almost 15 years ago and I figured it out, imagine that! I've also found my old T ruler in that room, and remembered how much I loved drawing even though I convinced myself at some point in the last eight years that I didn't like it all that much. I found my old bed and the balcony. I found Mohamed Fawzy hiding somewhere and that was one I didn't every member losing. Some of those little things are tricky, they hide long enough for you to lose them without even knowing that you did. It's a messy room with lots of booby-traps and bad memories that I tried to lose on purpose, but the things I find in there are like treasures, and they're definitely priceless.

There are very important things to be lost because they have to be found again, and when they are, their value increases so much. Finding them turns into a quest. Losing faith, finding faith, the quest for truth, the quest for knowledge, and how that quest counts! Other things are meant to be lost forever and I still don't know if losing them is a good thing or a bad thing. That was the time I lost my innocence because I knew the world was full of bad people, I just didn't know that I knew any. I envy those people that still have their innocence sometimes, but I'm also scared for them because I don't want them to get hurt. That's a lesson they’re going to have to learn on their own though, and only God can help them through it.

As for my courage, she's a slippery old girl that never wants to stand still long enough for me to grab hold of her. She served her purpose when I was a child, but she never was very fearless and neither was I. I try to hold on to her enough to do something stupid like publish this piece of... Writing, and then beat myself up about it when she runs away again. And hope, well, she comes and goes, sometimes it's a good thing when I lose her because without hope there is no disappointment, but without hope there is no happiness either, so I still haven't made up my mind about her. She springs eternal, for now.

The perfect ending would be "Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"

But I don't miss it really. Count your losses people, you never know what good comes out of them.

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