“A year after the war ends” – Darwish.

تقول: متى نلتقي
She said: when will we meet?
أقول: بعد عام و حرب
I said: A year after the war ends
تقول: متى تنتهي الحرب
She said: When will the war end?
أقول: حين نلتقي
I said: When we meet
— Mahmoud Darwish (Palestinian poet)

Static is what comes to mind. He wants the war to wait for a year after the war to end for them to meet, but the war officially ends when he meets her. Is the war internal? Is the war a matter of unfortunate circumstances that becomes a hurricane because she’s not by his side?

In some ways, the character has accepted the futility of his fate. You can imagine him writing to his love at 1am with a cigarette in one hand and the other resting on his head with the pen in between his fingers. A paper in front of him and Turkish coffee to the right. You can imagine his eyes fixated with numbness and his heart letting out an occasional sigh.

You imagine his lover seeking his comfort and finding strength in his words. It’s clear there’s history. There’s passion. History and passion that’s locked beneath this “war.” They thought they’d make it by now. They thought the wait would be over. Her palms have been sweating in anticipation, whereas his have dried up with his hope.

The older we get, the less purpose we seek. We seek to float. To merely exist and to enjoy each moment as it comes. The bigger picture matters less as it becomes an abstract fog into the distance that distracts us from now.

When we come to this realisation, we resist. We summon the energy that life has sucked out of us and we do it with such drive that we fail to foresee the logic that we will need to fall back on and forget to pick our battles.

We recognise futility and become numb again.

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