Have you ever felt that time passes in spite of your existence? As if it is ignoring you on purpose!
I have a habit of trimming my hair every 15th of each month. On my way back home from the barber’s shop I passed by New York fries (NYF) to grab a hotdog for my younger sister, the NYF employer asked me to come back after 20 minutes because they have just opened and the hotdog needs some time to cook so I took a walk around the place and came back after a while. When I came back I noticed a girl standing at the counter and she seemed upset, the cashier appeared not to understand precisely what she wanted. Out of curiosity I went and stood next to the counter. The girl was talking to the cahier in a very rude way, complaining that the day before she ordered a hotdog and asked them to add ketchup and mayonnaise but they did not.
Cashier: Madame did you call or came down here.
Girl: No I came down here!
Cashier: what did you order?
Girl: one nachos fries and a hotdog with ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Cahier: ok did you get the nachos correct?
Girl: yes but the hotdog did not have any toppings!
Cashier: sorry Madame.
Girl: sorry? Is this all you have to say?
Cashier: Madame, look on your left we keep the toppings for the customers to put what they want.
Girl: I don’t care where you put it, when I ask you to add something on my sandwich you do understood. You know I can go complain and close your shop right now do you want me to do that?
Cashier: no Madame, what can I do for you?
Girl: you make me another hotdog and for free.
All this time I stood without saying a word, waiting for her to stop yapping; though, I was boiling in the inside. The hotdog was ready for her and the cashier hand it to her to add the toppings, she gave him a look I couldn’t bare and she said with a superiority hand gesture aligned with the look:
You put the toppings, it is your job not mine.
The man with his head down, surrendered to her cruelty, did what she commanded. That’s when I stepped in and stopped listening to the voice in my head saying, “it is none of your business stay out of it.”
Me: excuse me, excuse me, hello you
Girl: With ridicule look climbing her face to her forehead
Me: sorry but it is known everywhere that NYF policy is that the customer self serve themselves with the toppings.
Girl: (sarcastically) it is not my problem…
When have we become this savage? It was so obvious that the girl is wealthy and did not need a free hotdog! Why the attitude especially in this holly month of forgiveness.
I left NYF so angry and wished I did more than telling the girl she was mistaken, I wished I treated her the same way she was treated the poor cashier but then I told myself it was pointless because heartless people like her have lost the sense of shame long ago and it was not the right battle to pick.
As I arrive homey m younger brother storms in the kitchen looking terrified saying “Rateb got shot some body give me his mobile to call Lebanon”.
Rateb is my cousin’s elder son and he’s very close to my brother, I immediately grabbed my mobile and called my other cousin he is like the guy to call if you need anything in Lebanon. The first word I said when he picked up is it true that Rateb got shot?
Cousin: don’t worry he is fine there is nothing to worry about, he is back home now but their neighbor got shot in the head and he is fine too, I will call you later.
Obviously Miss impatience (me) could not wait more than an hour and I called again
Me: hey what’s going on? What is on earth happening in the village do you guys think you live in Texas?
Cousin: laughing… not really but you know how is it here; people go crazy when they are hungry.
Me: tell me what exactly happened?
Cousin: well, Rateb’s young brother Hashim was walking next to Abu Hassan’s grocery shop, he had an argument with Abu Hassan’s younger son, then Rateb came to see what’s the problem then Abu Hassan’s daughter grabs a big glass bottle and cracks Hashim’s head open. He is in a very critical situation he keeps vomiting blood because small fragments of glass went in his blood stream and doctors are trying their best.
Me: OMG how old is he?
Cousin: 15 and his 10-year-old brother is hurt too, also Rateb got shot in the leg.
Me: WTH then who got shot in the head?
Cousin: ouh yah so after Abu Hassan’s daughter cracks Hashim’s head open, Rateb gets furious and start screaming so Abu Hassan’s elder son’s (plural) come out of the second floor windows with their riffles and start shooting at Rateb and as you Know Rateb is fearless he kept walking on their direction; that’s when Momtaz’s son who is Abu Hassan’s neighbor come out to see what is going on and he gets shot in the head and abdomen.
Me: is he okay now?
Cousin: yah he is fine, doctors said he’ll live
Me: how old is Rateb again?
Cousin: 18 or 19 I am not sure?
Me: what is going to happen now?
Cousin: well, the army forces came instantly and they are still here to reinforce “peace” the shooters went to jail and that’s it.
Me: what about the girl? She should be punished too!
Cousin: she’s a girl they won’t take her but Ratebs father is threatening to press charges he said this time he will not let the fight pass easily.
Me: when did all this happen?
Cousin: this afternoon before iftar.
After I hung up with my cousin all I could feel was void, I could not stop imagining the battle with a clock on the top right corner of the image in my head and this clock is ticking so fast. Intentionally ignoring these young men as if they were cursed to live in ignorance, as if they were born outside time….