24 May 2017

In a place like this

No matter how long you’ve lived in this arid, barren, desert of a country. No matter how many summers you’ve endured. The scorching heat of May, will hit you like a deafening, sweltering slap. A heavy suffocating blanket you can’t kick off. Still, weighty air, like a plastic bag over your head, full of dust, and asthma provoking humidity, strong garbage smells saturate the air, bringing you to the lowest point of your human vitality and motivation.

The frequent dusty days, color the whole atmosphere in a sickly urine yellow. The poorly paved roads expand like a vulgar yawn. No trees, no flowers, no clouds. Thin, malnourished palm trees, gone brown, wilting and bent, their top spiky leaves touching the ground. The dryness of everything, the absence of nature, the ugliness almost painful. Constant traffic choked roads, with broken fences between them. Exhausted buildings spilling grimy worn washing, from dirty shabby windows and balconies. The irony of luxury sport cars, shiny and expensive looking, against a bleak, rough backdrop.

In a place like this; where who you are depends on what car you drove, and the price of the watch you wore, how can one dream? How can one grow, think, feel, create, inspire or be inspired?

Every day I leave the court house nauseated, and gasping for fresh air, the packed corridors and lifts filled with smokers. My head grows heavier, a grey cloud swells inside my brain. On worse days, a pair of filthy hands won’t stop heaping sand inside my head. Burying my brain.

I represent a gynecologist who killed a thirty-year-old mother, ‘it was an accident’, he explains to me in his heavy Nigerian/British accent, ‘I did not know how advanced her cancer was, the operation went wrong’. Wearing a dated brown suit, and a striped brown and white tie.

I represent a woman who’s divorcing her husband, who had raped her twelve-year-old brother.

I represent a man who’s suing his employee for stealing a KD 15 internet router from the office.

On my way home, the depressing, tired roads stretch before me. I replay endless stories of pain, loss and suffering. The raw flesh of chickens turning on the grills, of small unhygienic takeout restaurants scattered everywhere. White meat burning on fiery flames, reddening slowly, dripping grease and fat and lard. While two filthy hands, keep shoveling sand inside my head.  

Kuwait 2017