Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ashamm al hawaa'

When I was about ten or so, as we often did in the summertime, my mom drove my brother and I to visit her hometown of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. One day, my great Uncle George drove us,and his gambling buddy, with a lady's name, Christie, up into the Poconos to get a glimpse of the green valleys and mountains that surround that ugly, old coal mining town. As we stood at a scenic lookout point over the plunging emerald hills, Uncle George (all five hundred pounds of him), turned to us and taught Jim and I the first clean words we ever learned in Arabic: "ashamm al hawaa'"! Smell the air! We repeated the phrase again and again, memorizing it, smell the fresh air! And the air up there was worth breathing.

Over the past few days, the air has been noxiously not breath-worthy in South Florida. On Sunday, I attempted to sit in my parents' pool with my friend in from London, and as we chatted, our eyes slowly closed and became crimson while ashes fell from the sky like snow. It was repulsive and my sinuses were inflamed with anger. Every day since this fire started, I feel like my head is on fire and I'm so unbelievably tired!

The worst part is that it's not going to end anytime soon, and it was started by an arsonist. What an a-hole. Right? I mean, what's the point? How much of an erection does s/he get from watching the flames and the allergies of Miamians flare? I'll tell you one thing, it doesn't turn me on.

The Miami Herald keeps saying that the weather is changing and will improve conditions for firefighters, but they've been saying that for five days now. More than 40,000 acres have been destroyed, prisoners from Krome were removed and the habitat for the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow has been threatened. I just hope it ends soon so I can again leave my front door open and smell the deliciously hot, sweaty, Miami summer air and have my eyes returned to me less swollen.

(Thank you to my most beautiful, brilliant cousin Farrah Farley for being so linguistically talented. If you need an Arabic translator, let me know.)

1 comment:

farrahflave said...

hotnesssss~ i know there must be someone out there in dire need of an arabic translator! hollerrrrr :-p