I was speaking with my mother on the phone yesterday when I heard my dad in the bg, so I asked her why he was at home on a working day, and she replied saying it was national/Liberation day holidays through the week in Kuwait. Ofcourse it was.
The truth is I try to avoid thinking about Kuwait as much as I can, never allowing myself to really feel the memories even if they do come back, but there it was yesterday, one foot over the other it all came cascading down unleashing its wrath upon my barracks of memories. Feelings, the damned things!
I asked my mother how the lights looked this year (the whole country looks exquisite during the week, especially the area where I live, done up like a little fairytail land), and she said “It looks normal”, ofcourse it did.
I asked her why they weren’t out driving about and enjoying the lights and spending time in the (what I believe to be the world’s most beautiful and unique) park outside our house and she asked me ”What’s the matter with you?!”
She didn’t understand, and I had been the same when I was there, I couldn’t have cared less about the lights or the park (okay that is a lie, I always loved the park!) when I was there, I would be the first to mock them and say how ugly and ridiculous it all looked and questioned why they spend so much money(they really spend A LOT of money!) doing something so ugly to the country, then I would make a few comparisons of it with other ‘ugly’ looking things and snort and fall back into my cynicism in the backseat.
In all fairness I haven’t been for three of the previous years celebrations either, but this year was different.
it was different because I was forced to accept that I didn’t belong there with two of my uncles and their families leaving after over thirty years of living there. It was different because I hadn’t been there not only for liberation day, but for christmas, or New Years, or the 27th of October. It was different because I lost my residence. It was different because no previous year have I tried to convince myself so hard that ‘there is nothing left for me there’, and never, EVER in my life have I blocked myself from actually feeling memories. But this year I did. So it was different.
So when I stepped outside and had to pass over a sand heap from a construction going on nearby, I let it remain. I was going to take off my shoes and dust it off but then the feel of the sand on my feet almost made my cry with nostalgia, so I didn’t clear it out right away. I was never a huge one for beaches but I loved the feel of sand on my feet and in my hands, soft, grainy sand, that made everyone think I was really unhygienic and a little strange, but it was always my favourite part (besides staring into the waters ofcourse, but you don’t need a beach for that when you live on the coast!)
But I got home and just let myself think for a bit, the lights really WERE pretty, not ugly. The park really was every bit as beautiful as I thought it was! The date palm filled sunrises with Linda’s banter was every teeny tiny bit as deserving of a perfect morning as a person should have. The air there was different, the air reeked of something only it could, it was a beautiful place, the place where I grew up, and a place I will always, come what may, owe a deep allegiance to in making me who I am.