by Eman

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Classes started last week. I’m trying to be enthusiastic about it but it is physically impossible. I spent the better part of my break being sick. And it’s not like I had a lame cold or hay fever or something, no, I had the Ra of all fevers! I was too crippled to get out of bed and my temperature reached a point where if you cracked an egg on my forehead it would broil in my sweat. Yes, that’s a wonderful image I’ve just embedded in your mind. The worst part of it is that I was always too tired to change out of my pajamas, so I’d spend days in the same pajama bottoms (I’d change the tops because they’d be soaked in sweat and I wanted to give an illusion of good hygiene). The most entertaining part of my outrageous temperature, at least to everyone else, is when I became delusional and hallucinated. So I decided that my family and friends shouldn’t be the only ones to laugh at my hallucinations, I must allow the rest of the world a chance to be entertained! This is a chronology of my hallucinatory episodes:

1) I was 8 or 9 and we were in Cairo. It was really hot and I had a high fever. My nanny made me lie down and sleep but it was the middle of the day, right before I was supposed to watch Pokemon. I had to sleep in my underwear because I was too tired to change into pajamas. As I was lying on my back staring up at the ceiling I saw a group of little creatures pop up over my head. They had orange faces, like Snooki, and they were wearing green. The best way I could describe them was if you mounted a woman’s face onto the body of a fly and put her in a green dress. So, they all had dark orange faces, bright orange hair and toothy smiles. they told me I couldn’t say the letter خ (which is like the ‘ch’ in loch). I was really upset because as soon as they said that that’s all I wanted to say! So instead of breathing out while saying it I breathed in so they wouldn’t know I was saying it (it really won’t make sense unless you speak Arabic. Actually, it might not even make sense then).

2) I was a bit older, maybe 13. I was beginning to get a fever and I couldn’t sleep so I was rolling around my bed and kicking the covers. When I sat up and looked at the side of the bed I saw a wizened, disfigured old man with wrinkles on his wrinkles. He was wearing old tattered clothes and had no hair on his head or his face. He reached his arm out and asked me for some change. I told him I didn’t have any money, and I was crying because, well, it’s a bit unsettling to have an old beggar appear by your bed when you’re trying to sleep. He asked me for coins, he said he needed coins and not paper money because it burned in his hand. I don’t remember how I made him go away.

3) This was in high school and I had a sore throat and fever. I went to the bathroom and saw Bill Gates standing in front of the toilet. He asked me if I wanted to buy a TV. I told him that he wasn’t the real Bill Gates because Bill Gates doesn’t sell TVs (apparently that was the only flaw in the situation, Bill Gates doesn’t sell TVs but he does show up in people’s bathrooms at random). He then procured a TV from god knows where and tried to sell it to me. I just flushed the toilet and left him there. Which I suppose is the logical thing to do when someone tries to sell you a TV in your bathroom. I went to the living room to tell my mother that Bill Gates was in my bathroom but she didn’t believe me (now why wouldn’t she?!) so I went back to prove it but Bill Gates was gone. Instead, there were dozens of white fish splashing around my tub and smiling at me. They were beautiful *sigh*

4) Last year, I was in great pain and I couldn’t sleep. I was going to get out of bed to get myself some water and then I saw him. He was frail and fragile, his skin was dark with ash and burnt skin. I could see his ribs sticking out and his skull was too heavy for his neck to support. He was emaciated and his name was Archurro, a poor Mexican orphan whose village was attacked and his family killed by gangs. I held Archurro in my arms, his eyes were half open and he looked at me with the expression of a little boy who could fight but had nothing to fight for. He died in my arms that night and although it was all concocted it was a very profound moment in my life. Maybe I should write his story…

5) Finally we get to what happened a couple of weeks ago. I just want to make clear that I don’t remember any of this so this is based on Haya’s account of what happened. Apparently, at around 3AM one night I called Haya stricken with horror and fear. The reason? There was a brain under my bed. Not only that, but that brain was encaged. She spent a very long time trying to convince me to look under my bed because, she claimed, there was no brain – confined or otherwise – under my bed. I didn’t want to look, instead I asked her too look for me and stuck my phone under the bed so she could see. She told me there was nothing (LIAR!!!). Then I got philosophical, what if the brain was good and he needed my help and that was why he was under my bed? I needed to save the brain. After some thought and I asked her, what if it was evil and it had arms that would slice me up when I got near? She said that it was highly unlikely that a brain would have arms, and even if it did it probably wouldn’t use it to kill me. I disagreed. It was a long strenuous debate that ended in tears and my refusal to help the brain. Haya says that I then fell asleep abruptly.

I am better now, and I’m not hallucinating. Unless I am. Maybe I’m really a prisoner of war who has fabricated a life for himself as a 19 year old girl to escape the horrors of what he has seen. Maybe none of you exist, none of this exists. What if I wake up and this has all been a dream and I’m a fetus that is being aborted the next day? Or maybe I’m a test subject of a highly advanced virtual gaming system that has delved so far into virtual life that I have left all remnants of reality behind me. I’m afraid I’ll ever know for sure.

I also wanted to add my congratulations to my Egyptian and Tunisian brothers and sisters, they’ve taken a brave first step and, although the road before them is treacherous,  I am confident in their ability to come together and form a new system that is representative of them, the people and not a mentally handicapped dictator. I also ask you to keep Libya and its people in your prayers and hope for no more innocent blood to be shed.

“What is the cause of this silence? The world must shake for these deaths. If this happened to any other people the world won’t remain silent. If it happened to Israel or a European country the whole world will shake. But Arab blood is the least valuable blood. The world has stood silent.” – al Qaradawi (source: @SultanAlQassemi)