The Road is Passable | Wael Maksoud

Issue 1 | 1 Oct 2018

When you live in a city under bombardment, but you’re not bombed, you recline behind the window and sigh; “There they are, human beings bombing others”, and see the boundary line of the air between you and them, and you know that it will be extended to far, anonymous destinations. As you continue munching off that dish of rice and peas, you recognize how schizophrenia has gripped this country.

As I talk to you, we are entering the third day of black out. The authorities said there is a cable that was cut off of a width of 2cm, further condemning us into the hell of darkness.

Yesterday two feeds on the idiotic transistor radio overlapped on a single wave. I listened, perhaps I should say that I hear the news, but you could hear a voice of a female announcer speaking about the “miraculous veto”, then wanders to a Mufti of the Republic, and to a delegate of a great power as some Chopin's music was also playing… O God, how I laughed!

I always wonder: what were the names of bullets that had not yet shot us! What were the features of death which didn't shelter us? What was the direction of the wind that sends our doors into collision and cause whistling of the cracks of keys they jostle in their holes? Do you know that when the sun sets, we live in the dark?

You…do you experience darkness?

Before yesterday, I also heard an announcer on the radio talking about the most appropriate gifts for lovers to exchange during Valentines Day. She neither mentioned gifts of items such as gas cylinder, fuel-package, a blood bag or medical gauze nor did she remember that a phone call from one place to another in the same country is a highly precious gift, okay! Could this announcer have been schizophrenic as well?

In such an event, I think that no matter how broken my writing is; no matter how incorrigible are my sentences, and my thoughts are ruminated, but since you have hearts that beat, you will become teary-eyed. More so, each of you has a disastrous city in his heart to mourn for.

On the first road block, a young man told us; “Excuse me, I am a little bit confused!” while on the second another young man said; “The road is passable with difficulty due to the accumulation of sons of a bitch!”

I cleaned two candlesticks made of clay pottery, and one got broken. I put two other new candles, but for me, no one will clean my grave before my departure.

Yesterday, the last remaining neighbors paid us a visit to have love with old heater. A bereaved mother told me: "I want to gather them all, and bomb them. May that’s when I will revenge for my son."


She then went into a bout of laughter!


Each evening I win over my parents in Konkan card game. Yesterday, I was about to lose, O my God .. they nearly killed me. The game is like a battlefield, fought with my teeth. I threw a paper here and there, and I defended the only victory that was left for me.

When you miss me. I do not know that. I do not feel you or hear you.

But when I miss you, I feel you and I'm trying to hear you voice. Do you know that?

One  mosquito hid in the dark. If I could see it, I would clap my hands in the air and crush it. But now, nobody can clap.

The small Gardenia tree is still alive, but it did not bloom this year. We didn't pick a rose and put it in a cup of water for a longer lasting perfume; most likely, it forgot how to bloom and how to die.

It seems as though death was distributed in consumer institutions in "bonus", and the city's population are still jostling in queues, fluking one another's turn.

A city changes its dictator, like one changes a trousers after becoming tight.

When you decide to escape from a disastrous city, thousands of ways and plans will come to your lap. When you decide to escape from a disastrous city, you will stay in it even when you have left. A black aura like the cloud will surround you and you are in the middle of it. When you decide to escape from a disastrous city, you won't know how much prayers your loved ones have to say, so that God turns you, and blows a killer bullet away from your face.

When you decide to escape from a schizophrenically infested city, one with a divided army and harbouring two sects –then you know the city runs like a heart where each half wants to keep blood for itself. You will be terribly afraid having this entire blood explode at a moment you are on the threshold of a dream, only to die as soap bubble –meaningless and be forgotten!

Syrian Writer