Sunday 4 of December, 2022
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Ramadan Living

Fasting is easy. It's the temptation, the paranoia and the temporary Tourette's that'll get you, as Waleed Mowafi found out.

Staff Writer

It is morning. I wake up to the incessant sounds of honking from irate drivers on the streets below. No, Waleed, Kelly Brooke is not going to touch your willy, for it was only a dream and you are still in Cairo. My mouth is dry. I’m parched and my attention is focused on the half empty Dasani bottle of my regret. Why didn’t I drink it all? The water is glimmering in the sunlight. Do I take a sip? No one will know. No, Waleed! You will know and God sees EVERYTHING…Paranoia.

I am dressed; I saunter into the office 20 minutes late. Sand is slipping slowly down the hourglass. Hunger begins to rear its ugly face. It must have been at least three hours by now. I look at my watch… 30 minutes have passed. Sadness. Got to keep occupied. Do not think of food. I head to another room. The white people are gorging down on double-stacked, fast food burgers. I see the melted cheese cascading down one of their chins. Perhaps I should nonchalantly wipe it off with my finger, scurry to the bathroom in secret and solitude and devour that minuscule speck of cheesy nourishment? No, Waleed that’s not appropriate. It’s actually really weird and anyway, God can see you in the bathroom. He sees EVERYTHING…Paranoia.

Why are the clock hands ticking backwards? I take off my glasses, and wipe the lenses vigorously on my shirt. I must be seeing things. I place my specs back on. The clock hands seem to have beige bases with long white tips. Smoke is protruding out of them; they look like cigarettes. Shit, I need a cigarette. Am I seeing things? My feet are tapping uncontrollably like I’m suffering from Tourette's. “CIGGARETTE!” I yell. Now everyone is staring at me. I feel awkward. Perhaps I do have Tourette's. I close my eyes and visualise that smooth, smoky, cancerous goodness, swirling around my lungs . I want to inject nicotine directly into my retinas. That would be heavenly..

Hunger turns to impatience, impatience turns to anger, anger turns to fury. I need to eat. I am human, we must feed to survive! WHAT IS THIS TORTURE? Enough! This has gone on long enough. I dash to the fridge and fling it open as a flurry dairy products fall on their side from the force of my pull. I do not care, I am an animal. Then I see it, sat there on the middle shelf, seducing me with its little buttons of meaty wholesomeness. It’s last night’s pepperoni. My eyes widen, my mouth slowly slips open. Before I know it, my trembling hands are creeping towards the pizza. I’m salivating, Shall I do It? And just as my finger tips gently caress the golden crust, I see my soul slowly decaying, burning, and scorching in the blazing fires of hell.  My heart skips a beat, I take a step back and cower on the kitchen floor in a fetal position; a heap of self pity..

But WAIT… What’s that noise?  Could it be? YES!  The echoes of a hundred mosques around the city; Maghrib! I run to my parents place a few blocks away at an outstanding pace and with a childlike sense of urgency and excitement. Not before long, I see a magnificent sight. A sprawling table brimming with  salads, steaming hot soup, chicken, lamb, bamia, molokhyeya, a variety of rices to suite my palate…the options are endless! My heart is filled with joy. I sit down as my mother hands me a plate.

“Did you fast today?” she  asks.

“Of course I did! I don’t know why people complain about fasting, it’s piss easy.”