In a rather rare moment of epiphany these days, I suddenly realize that the City, the Forever Decrepit City, no longer means anything to me.
But then, hasn’t this been the truth all along? After all, why did I really return to the City? Was it really her love that pulled me back after all these years? Is it really her love that is binding me to her while here? Or hasn’t it been my need all along, and my fear?
Tonight, a long awaited epiphany has finally empowered me to accept the truth of the answers that I have always given to these rather heretical questions, - heretical, that is, within the traditional framework of patriotism, nationalism, Baathism, Islamism, and all the other isms that had been taught to me all through my subsistence in the City, - and to understand their implications and face the consequences.
Tonight, I have finally accepted the truth of what needs to be done, and have finally found the will to do it. Soon indeed, I will have to leave the City…
…the city, the country, and perhaps the entire region. They all mean nothing to me anymore. They have never been hospitable or accepting of me, and they will never be. The certainty of that has always been with me, and the only reason that kept me here was a certain foolish messianic/suicidal tendency that, - no I can no longer ignore the obvious fact of it, - represents a deep betrayal of everything I believe in and of all the people I love.
I didn’t come back to Damascus in ’94 because I was homesick or for some nationalistic reason. I came back because at the very last moment I stopped my hand from lunging a dagger into my heart, I came back because I had a mother and a father and I needed to be cuddled once again and saved from myself, I came back to write and commit suicide in other less dramatic ways, perhaps.
It’s only tonight, following what seems like a long overdue epiphany, that I am finally putting an end to my longstanding suicide attempt. Everything in my life has been, up to this moment, nothing more than a meaningless incomprehensible, - even to me, even after all these years, - process of self-mortification. Still, and while I may never truly understand the causes behind it all, I can no longer accept this betrayal of myself, and all those who care for me.
The City, that cruel judge, that unfair arbiter, that eager executioner that relishes the prospect of further executions, no longer means anything to me. The only home I have now is my wife’s bosom. Should she die before me, the only home I will ever have again will be my own madness. And that suffices for me. That suffices for the Heretic in me. That conforms to the very nature of my current heresy.