Monday, July 14, 2014

and sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live when you were young

there are some things that act as time machines, that pull us back through time to a moment that we may have thought was lost. these can be songs, pictures, foods, movies... anything really. we all have some, and they are all different. for me, one my time machines is the morning call to prayer (athan).

there is a line that is only said in the call to the first prayer of the day. (it basically says that prayer is better than sleep.)

when i hear that line, i am suddenly back in california. i am six years old, and the house smells like fresh paint. there is new hardwood on the floors where there used to be carpet, and later, my sisters and i will fill some time with sock slides. our screams and laughter will fill the rooms of our townhouse. but now the house is quiet and dark. it is ramadan, and we have finished the morning meal. we have prayed. my sisters are asleep - on the floor since our beds were packed up - and my mom is, too. my dad reads his morning quran by a small lamp, and i sit quietly wrapped in my blanket watching tv. the animated adventures of dorothy gale and david and goliath and gulliver's travels. the tv screen grows brightly in the dark. when the cartoons are over, the house will wake up. but for now, there is only me, only the stories.

when i hear that line, i am engulfed in a pocket of peace from the past. the quiet hum of the tv. the silence of an entire neighborhood, minus two, sleeping. and the muffled call for prayer coming from our first athan clock: gold and shiny and shaped like a mosque but with speakers that don't allow for words, only sounds.

half a breath later, i am twenty-six again and sitting on my couch in my little one-bedroom apartment. it is ramadan. i have finished my morning meal, and i am reading my morning quran by a lamp. the world outside my living room is dark and sleeping. our new athan clock is black and sleek and the words pour from it clearly.

and every morning when i hear that prayer is better than sleep, i am six years old again.

*When You Were Young - The Killers

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