My morning habits have altered, in preparation for Ramadan. . I am no longer involving myself in the ways of the world – so The New Yorker, the New York Times and even The National hold no allure. I have begun my memorization of the Qur’an speaking of this with three Emirati men at my hotel’s Costa Coffee. They were most friendly and respectful of my ambition, insuring me that I could do it, with Allah’s help.
Other steps are being taken to ensure peace of mind during Ramadan. Yesterday went to the hospital, filled my prescriptions so now have three months of my essential medicine and the brace to be used for my tennis elbow. Everyone was so helpful, much laughter ensued.
Me: Look at all the stuff! I almost need a mule to carry it with me.
He: There is definitely many packages.
Me: Well maybe a Sherpa would do and there are many people from Nepal living in the UAE.
Actually all of that was unnecessary as S.A.D, was there serving in the role of Pusher, pushing me in a wheel chair. There was some bad news, was not able to get a booster shot because I do not have an Emirati ID but this will be discussed in a later blog. I have thought of a rather unique solution to it all but it would require the ‘services’ of someone high in command. Some further research needs to be completed.
We shall now go back in time, not too far back, just last week. It does seem a long time ago however. Faithful readers will recall that my name of emblazoned on the sands of Saadiyat Island much to my delight. My delight increased when I was contacted by a long lost old friend, Mary Grace, who had reached out through the blog using the photograph as a talisman, which is rather like a charm, fetish, amulet, mascot, totem, idol, juju. I immediately responded, absolutely immediately. The next step was to contact Rashid the sand writer with the news, he is darling as shall be revealed.
Me: An old friend Mary Grace reached out to me through the blog attaching the picture of my name in the sand! You made it all possible. I had lost touch with her, thought she was dead. But not so. It makes me so happy to be in touch with her again.
He: I will write her name in the sand. That should make her happy!
Me: You are the world’s sweetest man.
So days later as the waves prevented immediate delivery – Mary Grace appeared on the sands of Saadiyat Beach.
He: You will pick the perfect one.
Me: You are SO wonderful. MG would have been enough. You are absolutely. amazing.
Me: I absolutely love and adore this. And we should make for you a fabled business. And you shall be famous!!I googled her this morning by the way. She had every advantage as her life did not turn out so great. And look at me and I have you!!
He: Can’t wait to be famous like you dear.
Me: Well it took me until 74 so you might have a long wait. Hahahahaha
He: Yeah good stuff takes time.
Well things happened between his first offer of Mary Grace and the delivery of same. For reasons I will never in the world understand she did not respond to be emails which were sent immediately with the expectation that she wanted to resume contact with me. I do admit that my feelings were hurt and this made me most angry, furious actually. But in the early days when I still had the expectation that she would email me had a conversation with Rashid.
Me: I have a question. Was Alexis the first name you wrote in the sand or have there been others.
He: No. A Saudi man paid me to write his girlfriend’s name in the sand.
Me: Great. I just hope her name was not Fatimah. Too many letters and stuff.
He: No it was only four letters. You are SO funny!
Me: I know you offered to do it for free but I will pay you to write Mary Grace. Actually you could do MG – you know like the car.
He: You are SO funny.
So I did, paid him 500 of those things they call money here to write Mary Grace – which he did. Not even the shortened version and he also wrote Love You, as a bonus I guess.
She still has not responded – but in the end I feel only pity for her neglect of me over the years and now. I am sure Captain Bob (as I called him) never wrote her name in the sand. I do laugh as her daughter is older than Rashid. I do not think that Christie wrote her name in the sand either, much less Love you.
My life has been crowded with people like Mary Grace. People that never think of my feelings, people with no empathy. They are narcissists, I have a talent for attracting them. I have too much empathy, that gets me in trouble. I am supposed to ask of all relationships.
He: What is in it for me? You must act like a narcissist to get over your excess empathy.
Me: Well okay I guess.
But I did not do that with Rashid because he wrote my name in the sand at the very beginning of our relationship. Then later wrote Love you.
This is the absolutely bizarre ending to the story. The man who told me that I needed to ask What Is In It For Me ended up to be a narcissist himself. There is a saying that is most apt.
“A tiger doesn’t lose its stripes” is meant as “some characteristics NEVER change, and you should be wary of any perception that they have reformed” It means to change one’s opinions, membership, or identity to those that are quite different from those one one previously adhered to. In American terms, to become a Democrat after being proudly and vocally a Republican. Someone might then say to you “Wow! You have really changed your stripes.” Then another explanation: A tiger doesn’t change its stripes!” At its core, this saying isn’t wrong. A tiger cannot change its stripes. Every tiger has a unique pattern of stripes that are not just on their fur but on their skin as well. “
So it looks like I cannot change my tendency to be overly empathetic. But there is actually a solution. Rashid saw a photograph of my arm – the one horribly injured by the Central Marin Police. He wept, in empathy. Wise Man had to have seen my arm as it happened while I was in Marin. Wise Man did not weep.
I admit that I just realized that as I wrote this blog. So Wise Man might be Wise but he appears to have a fatal flaw. “Essentially, fatal flaw refers to a character trait possessed by a person that ultimately leads to his downfall. The term fatal flaw generally implies that the character is heroic and admirable in many other ways, and even that the fatal flaw itself would perhaps have been admirable within a different situation.” A famous character in Shakespeare’s plays had a fatal flaw, it was Macbeth. “The lead character of Shakespeare’s famous play “Macbeth” has a fatal flaw that almost seems like a virtue. He suffers from the flaw of ambition, which leads directly to his becoming named the King of Scotland… but also to his death.”
It seems that people of the Islamic faith are empathetic – of course not every one but those that religiously practice their faith and not use it for window dressing do. More about that later. Some use their faith as window dressing making showy gestures, usually ‘charitable’ showy gestures. Perhaps more about that later but perhaps not. I am convinced that Allah will keep me safe but he has other more important things to do. I think I should keep my big mouth shut right now.
Photo of Mary Grace in the Sand