She was horrified when she knew that her husband wanted to get rid of everything useless and anything that no longer bring him happiness. Returning home on Thursday noon after quitting his job, he locked himself in the bedroom and emptied all the cabinets and drawers.
He found a large amount of clothes that no longer fit him and some which he haven’t used for more than a year. Along with these clothes was his gown and cap. He discovered electronic devices dating way back to his childhood years; old phones and computers that already ceased to function. A stack of textbooks and an oud instrument. He found papers dating back to high school, some of which with Tupac’s song lyrics and some with scribbles he could no longer understand. A photo album of his travels captured by an instant camera. A collection of pirated CDs for songs and movies. A ceramic cup that reveals a picture of himself when poured with hot beverage, a birthday gift from a distant time. He found a Samsonite travel bag which he decided to keep unable to remember the last time he used it along with four others. An old copy of the family tree with some handwritten notes. A collection of coins from several countries. An old wallet and an expired passport. Accumulated receipts.
As the sun sets that day, a pile of bags was amassed on the doorway. With The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in hand to reread for the second time, he walked to the nearby Starbucks enjoying a feeling of lightness.
On Friday morning, he gathered a number of watches, sunglasses, lighters and perfume bottles in a box. He went to the kitchen where he found lots of unused cooking equipment, utensils, and expired foods; mustard, pasta sauce, and an instant coffee. He continued circling the house in search of what else could be disposed. He also decided to break off from the long hours spent watching television and videos online. Getting rid of those things created a vast space in his brain that used to be crammed with chaos and was permanently bewildering him. The cloud of thoughts that had been haunting him almost daily for several years vanished. He prepared a quick lunch and then went back to Starbucks to continue reading the novel.
He woke up early on Saturday and went for a run in the beach. When he returned home, he cooked the available food left for his lunch. He again went to Starbucks to read the book and left it there when he finished. Soon he’s back home and he took out the clothes he wanted to wear the following day.
Morning came and he put on the clothes as soon as he woke up then headed to the airport.
This is just one among the several short stories Ali Al-Sabah has written and I’m delighted to finally be able to read one because he generally writes in Arabic. So for my readers who are interested to read more of his works, click here.
I’d be glad to know your thoughts about the story so feel free to drop a line or two in the comments.
Have a wonderful week, homo sapiens!