has been a recipe for manhood in my family for as long as I remember. Floors groaned at three am when my father would walk across wooden tiles that I always thought someone had meticulously jigsawed across the whole apartment.
His belt buckle, I can still hear, then came the jingle of coins in his pockets as he set off quietly to his work day, alone.
I still drive by that apartment and assume that it belongs to us, my childhood will haunt whoever lives there until I can buy it, just for fucks sake and keep it as a memory.
My grandfather was a loner too, son of many sons of mountain people wedged in a village and on the other side a sea.
He’d walk, in the early hours of the morning to his work too. He’d toil the mountains, his father a shepherd and farmer.
My uncles, all land people. Quiet men, but robustly strong men.
There’s manhood in solitude yet!
Someone tells us that we’re of prophetic lineage, Hashimi to be exact and this seems to be on the lips of other families in surrounding villages.
I hear it more than once as if it’s a get out of jail free card, but I’ve wrestled with myself in just as much quietude as my ancestors for me to believe that it’s true.
Still on the offchance it is, I think of my noble grandfather – I hope he’s my grandfather – The Prophet who received revelation in……. Solitude but was believed in multitude.
The man who was responsible for transforming the otherwise then despicable Arab peninsula – perhaps now just as despicable – into the centre of the world.
Maybe it’s solitude missing from my people, stopping them from rising to that place again.
I’ve turned too many pages to not know that great men, men who’ve had the biggest impact, real impact were always introverted and preferred the humble sifting grounds of solitude over the cacophany of noise amongst people.
And so distraction feels like an enemy sucking my marrow and I feel bad for even thinking of people as distractions.
They don’t even get a chance to develop a relationship with me before I have ignored them based on their incessantly noisy approach to being heard.
Tap me gently,
wake me softly,
brush up against me with prose,
waft past me with a perfume so enchanting you pull me out of my shell,
but don’t vie for my attention with claptrap and hyde.
I’ll find you, I’ll hear you, I’ll notice all your nuances like I noticed my home, my father, like I think of my ancestors walking alone at night.
men of fortitude,
sunken in solitude,
bathing in introversion,
aching in longing for answers to all their ponders,
too proud to ask,
stoic in acceptance of their fate.
Men that thought so much, that their hearts beat double as fast, silently away from the masses,
men who all died early.
Maybe they all die when their need for solitude is no longer met, when they can’t keep enough of themselves away from people.
Maybe they die when their secrets are exposed.