**As Published in Rowayat literary journal – January 2014**
It is not very often that one sees the issuing of the ultimate tropical cyclone warning signal of No. 10. When this signal is issued, it means that winds of hurricane force (118 km/h or more) are expected to affect the territory. Since hurricane-force winds are largely confined to a relatively narrow strip around the eyewall of a tropical cyclone, it would normally require a storm of a typhoon or above status to pass fairly close to (say, within 100 km) of Cairo. This is commonly referred to as a “direct hit“.
They were having a long walk -an activity not very often practised with potential hook-ups- They talked of men and women and how time is a cheater, smoke and liquor and how Satan is a believer. Their steps were the only sound intruding the fireworks in the sky, they decided to take a photo where parts of them got obscured by the width limitations of the lens, others by the overexposure of the flash.
This would be how this moment of this day kept …Flawed.
He has lost count of the beds he slept in, of the people who were called lovers, of personalities adopted, of narratives, lived and the number of forms his existence was resurrected into.
To live in Cairo is to witness people marching for people to die where people died for people to march – a thought she couldn’t dismiss on the twenty-sixth of July, 2013, as she laid back on – yet – another bed, opened her legs for him to do his thing.
Sex has always been fascinating for her in the sense that no matter what her expectations were, it was always something else. She learnt when she was 14 that men are different in bed, they don’t listen, but to their insecurities and mothers. She always wanted her orgasms to be louder than her thoughts. They only needed to prove their Manhood. This time her thoughts were louder.
The survival of this hit would depend on how prepared the national security is, how the authorities would put its emergency plan into action and urge the people to cooperate and comply for their lives. But what if this direct hit took place during a revolution where the wind was overlooked.
It has always been uncommon for him to bring perspective lovers into his apartment; he once read that every person leaves a million of epithelial cells behind on the sheets, on the couch and in the air. He enjoyed going to new places, seeing new colours and books. He entered the room, skimmed it with his eyes, got lost in the stories that fill it, imagining how his story will be saved in this space, how his breath will change the chemistry of this air forever. It is probably this moment when his acquaintance would make the first move, the second and the third until their sighs get lost in their sweat.
She never really cared to remember how she ends up in strangers’ beds, sometimes more than one in a single day, be it the internet or the street, she always managed to have them, she always fail to remember the small talks that precede the action, at first she hated them as meaningless and unnecessary. For her, it doesn’t matter the level of pseudo-intellectuality shown by the prospect with which she would get naked, eventually, she enjoyed taking over different personalities for those warm-ups; she is a communist, she is an artist. One day she was the only daughter of a billionaire who decided to ditch her family after her uncle made a move on her. Mostly, she was the woman who slept with a forty-year-old who turned out to be her dad’s ex-lover.
He took out his pack of cigarettes, lit himself one as they were lying in bed with his phone in hand; watching as people are being shot, tortured and detained, watching as the masses cheer for an army tank to run over other human beings, 11. 23. 79. 200. 168 humans died during the past two hours written in different tweets and news SMS, thinking of how hard it would be to count dead bodies and announce one official number, how when his colleague was shot by Islamists last December a beep announced his death as a digit adding up to a collective figure, he was in another bed and they mistook the shooting for fireworks. He hated the Fireworks.
“Thou shalt not kill, is a moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments” She said to her – now- lover who replied” It also allows for justified killing in the context of warfare and self-defence.” while on the screen women in veils were weeping their husbands and men in beards were crying their gods.
She remembered the morning she was driving and noticed an ex-lover turned into a graffiti on a wall; under it “Killed by SCAF on November 22nd, 2011″ was written in red. A tear escaped her eye as the car behind was horning for her to speed.
Taking a quick shower after sex has been one of the very few traditions he kept over the years, except in minor incidents when he didn’t want to lose the scent of it or rub the moment totally off his body. But this time he was helpless, it felt like no matter how many times he would shower, he would never be able to rub this day off, in the vapour saturating the shower he could see the green laser beam coming from the street turning into images of freedom fighters killed by the same army who is now celebrated by their friends and families. Shit happens – he thought.
She has never been an Islamist, a Pacifist or anything that ends with an -ist, she actually despised tags that every time there is an application to fill and she needs to tick the female choice, she would suffocate of the idea of limiting her existence into a box. Other than her liquor, cigarettes and random lovers …she relates not.
On the twenty-eighth of June 2013, the first warning of a cyclone was issued, a failed state on all aspects had turned one year old and the people were determined on not letting it for another week, let alone three more years. Five days later the army “complied” with the demands of the people and toppled the president.
A coup or not a coup remained a question; people were happily dancing on the streets for defying yet another state while others were holding on to the last thread of their freedom to protect an oppressive state of god.
He despised nationalism as much as he hated Islamism but for him, the latter could be manipulated by getting quotes with different angles whereas, for the former, blood is always justified.
She is used to out sex the number of possibilities for a situation turning bad. He is used to out shower his dreams getting shattered over externalities. But to face a direct hit they both needed another drink.
Click. Cling. Snick.