PO

Po”, you do not have to thank me, I like doing nice things for nice people.”

“Po” looked up. He had concentric circles around his eyes; more of oblong shapes as a matter of fact. Lines made up of ridges of sagging skin, and residues of fat. Ridges like glistening hills that reflected, at non concentric spots, the weak light of the newly pregnant moon.

The black of the eye, was as black as the eye of a toddler. No effect of senility, no shadows, no waterfalls. The blackness did not reflect the light of the moon, but rather the moon’s darkness. His eyes were unique; they absorbed everything in, even people, characters, souls and sounds. Eyes like a deep well, where all infinitely sank. In his presence, “Breeze” would get the feeling of a diver, only initially. With diving, the diver would always think that he would float up again. With “Po”, the diver wouldn’t. Diving in him was with no return, with no life jacket, no necessity for air. Sinking was the closer description, not diving.

All other features were normal. Extremely normal. He had a mild glow, like the mild glow of a black pearl.

“I am just not used to being done well to, and I know how it feels when one is not gratified. I appreciate your efforts of trying to take me out of my chosen solitude, and admire your self giving to others.

I am glad that you had allowed me to explain to you that the fate you are walking into is a fate drawn by you, at ruts burrowed by you. I also, commend your ability, which I see clearly, to accept others as they are, and erase out any meaning from the word “Blame”.

For all that, I thank you”

“Thank you. See I am capable of gratitude”

“Po” smiled; “I hope, opposite to what you think, you are similar to the rest; for your own sake. Truly hope you are forgetful, for your own peace.”

“You keep dismissing me for what others are, and that is not fair”

“You are right, but I cannot forget.”

While opening a bottle of red wine, “Breeze” hesitated a little, and then said:

“I meant to ask you; tell me about them please, the ones who forget, ‘the rest’.

Breeze…, my breeze, when you are with me, I would like you to get rid of all the mental and emotional blocks, tell me whatever, and ask me whatever. Open the gates to your soul. You do not have to mean to ask me, just ask me, do not plan it.”

“Thanks Po, really, thank you.”

With a perfectly clear smile, a perfectly equally wide lips and a perfectly horizontal straight line in between: “I will tell you some of my stories, I know you like my stories.”

Breeze felt filled, lost the hollow in his chest, boosted like a child who was just whispered to quietly and secretly, in his ears: “You are the best, you are my favorite, and this is our secret, only you and I”, by his father.

He sat down next to Po, a glass of blood red wine in-between his palms, and a patient look in his eyes, focused on Po’s lips, beard, moustache, jaw muscles, awaiting their contraction, and feeling warm.

“A little heavenly boy was throwing little stones in a well, at the boundary of the desert bounding his home. He was trying to learn the depth of the water through the sound that the rocks make as they hit the surface of the water underneath. He wanted to find out whether he did or did not have to walk his blind father to the little pond a lot farther away, in order for his father to bathe. Instead he was hoping that the water in the well would suffice.

His older brother saw him throwing down the little rocks. His brother accused him of throwing rubbish down the well. His brother accused him of ruining the water that the whole family used.

As opposed to what one would expect of the little boy to defend himself, he declared that the accusations were not accusations but the truth, and said that he could do whatever he felt like with the well, and that whoever wished to have clean water, should go to the pond. The well was his, based on the fact that water erupted there only when he was born, and only for his sake. He further claimed that he knew, for a fact, that if he would leave the house, the well would dry up. And if that would happen, him leaving, and the well drying up, he would never return.

The older brother, with angry eyes, mutilated nose, hare lip and spastic cheeks, spat at the boy, clenched his fists, turned away his bowed legs, and walked away, kicking dust with his excessively in-stepping boots in the process.

His sisters came along, with their dresses tucked inside there tight fading stretch pants, and slippers filled with dirt and crooked nails. They started babbling and stretching their chicken necks, about the boy’s selfish behavior and his nasty looks that went along with it. They said that the well erupted with his birth in vane, that his soul was ultimately filthy, even a river couldn’t have cleansed it.

The boy did not reply, he continued to feed his nightingale. A small brown bird with a yellow collar. Unlike other nightingales, that one did not sing. At all. It followed the boy, slept standing at the edge of his pillow when he slept, and jumped around him otherwise. It would only stop moving when the boy talked to it, or fed it. And especially calm, when the boy refused to talk. As if it did not want to disturb his sacred silence by the motion of a single feather of its wings. He was feeding it dates, perfectly sun ripened ones.

Sometimes the boy would wash those wings separately, one with rosewater, and the other with Oud. The bird did not fly, did not learn how to, did not need to learn.

The boy’s mother then arrived. Her gray hair was all over her face, a face filled with pink ruptured veins and pendulous brown tags, and her centrally balding scalp was covered with dandruff. She was carrying a basket filled with over ripe tomatoes, wilting weeds and rotten pomegranates. Her smell, not the basket’s, preceded her; a urinary entourage. She kept the habit of always reminding the boy that she only started involuntarily leaking urine when she gave birth to him. He was born with a large head.

So it seemed that, water flew from every corner in the universe with his birth; from the well, his mother’s bladder, and from the sky, he was told.

Only his father would say that the rain then, was gentle and clean. All ‘the rest’ would refuse to explain how a rainbow would form after rain. How a rainbow would be so complete, east to west and would last forty two days. All ‘the rest’ would claim it was muddy.

She arrived and collected her daughters, and son; his older brother that is, went inside the house, and shut the door.

The boy stayed by the well, watched the sun set, and thought, it would be warmer in the morning. He would deliver the water to his father to bathe, after sunrise.

The sun rose. The boy entered the house with a bucket full of comfortably cold water, and a white cotton bathing cloth.

His father was ready for the bath. The nightingale stood quietly at the window pane and watched the harmonious morning ritual.

The boy then went to his bed and slept, the bird did too.”

Po, who was observing the sleepy eyes of Breeze, made a space for Breeze’s legs on the sofa they were sitting on, placed the wine glasses on the corner table, and made another space for Breeze’s head, on his lap.

Breeze eyes closed, except for a tiny gap between his lids not allowing in light, but perfume. His head felt cool under Po‘s steady hands.

Po, while gently rubbing Breeze’s head, continued to watch the void in front of him with his dark eyes, absorbing all in.

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