map Perfecting Paradoxes

by Haitham Alsarraf

Published in Issue No. 220 ~ September, 2015
Photo by Manuel Delgado Tenorio (Madrid, Spain)

Photo by Manuel Delgado Tenorio (Madrid, Spain)

My apartment. Oh, my apartment. How it breaks Kuwaiti taboo. I live in it as an unwed person. Abuse it like a true bachelor. Against Kuwaiti norms. Against Kuwaiti laws. With blind eyes turning every which way.

Cash is king, second to corruption. I rent it illegally. Why? Because according to Kuwaiti laws, single Kuwaiti men and women are not allowed to rent. Only foreigners are. Hence, cash is king, second to corruption.

The place is my refuge away from the mayhem strangling this country. So much money, so much stupidity, with so much theft. All negate each other. All in a time when it is starting to spatially strangle itself.

There are no paintings, trinkets or plastic souvenirs inside my place. It is minimalistic. Why? So that it is barely comfortable enough to stay in. Less longevity for female company. More sex. Fewer headaches.

Armani, Gucci, Versace and other vowel-ending Italian designers deck my closet. I market them for authority but abuse them for sexuality. The vowels are ever so seductively helpful.

At my sanctity, I am the ultimate Male Bitch. Ultimate in exercising my charm. Absorbing ultimately the female species. In quality. In undoubted quantity.

On average I seduce two to three different women per week, I will chase them and take on colorful roles, like an actor swimming through scripts and scenes, in ratio to reality’s quips and screens. Swallowing all I enpath, I will mold myself into the women I explore until there is little left to discover.

Their insecurities will religiously become my vanity. Their desired hopes will be exhumed, as their essential powers will ultimately become mine, as the prowlers they have always known to be in themselves. Walking in, swarming within, charming akin, my personality will impregnate their breadth by havocking in width.

The collective traits I gather will totalize me for nothing else will matter more than databasing them.

My intent is to absorb each woman’s character. In turn, I surge them with a multiple whammy of passionate and explicable raw running fluid of orgasming plight that is irate in its loving delight. In them, I am King. As them, I am Queen. Out of each and every one of them, I am a unisex but delicious queer.

That smirk of mine will fondle. That quirk of mine will envelope. My verbal jerks will eloquently allure. In essence, I will devour.

Leaving as I came is just as simple. Secreting their desires and kissing them breathlessly back into the women is just as nimble.

Yes, I will bitch myself around from one flower to another, initially eroticizing each one’s physical beauty into unrelenting cosmic sensuality. Yes, I will attach in minutes what other men will do in months or years, yet cunningly detach in seconds, leaving them unknowingly addicted in fears.

And in that phasing out yet peaking moment, I will watch as they become de-womanized once again, with a crinkle of hope to spring again. Carrying with me will be all of the feminized creatures of whim and nonchalance that are personified in an equally opposite equivocal stance of a male.

I am male whore embodying everything that women have hated men to be yet superbly taught them to see.

Tonight is Beza night. What I mean by this is tonight I have to act how Beza wants me to act. I relinquish pride and ego. Why? Temporary pleasure, in a country where sexuality is hyperchased yet rarely gotten for free. I am not my own king. I submit in order to weaken. In order to strengthen. Beza does not know this, though.

Beza casually lights up a filtered cigarette, as she meditates in reflection. Her face costumes contentment, but her mind pleads guilt. It is only 10:23 in the morning when Beza’s husband believes she is out shopping – with his money – for groceries and bound to pick up the kids from school.

I return to bed after cleaning myself in the bathroom. I join her after a marathon of sexual divulgence.

Beza is Kuwaiti, naked and replenished. I am replenished but not Kuwaiti. Not at that moment, at least. I am nationalitiless and single in that sexual exhalation. My mind and skin have both been shed. My job, its stresses, and my temporary fostered persona are handed out for the kidnapping. Handed out for the saving.

Beza is married, but she’s a proud Sunniya from a large well-known family. A family that is in a small country, which is ruled by a struggling, slight Sunni majority. But she, like others of her self-imposed stature, likes to exaggerate her true power and class.

Her head scarfed hijab hangs on the edge of the bed with the rest of her clothes.

Neither of us is personally pleased with how our lives have turned out. Neither are we satisfied with where our lives have consciously taken us. Both of us are cheating not only on our spouse or lover, some other momentary figure, but also on our social-religious beliefs. They are the beliefs that have been conditioned into us by our family upbringing. Ingrained by familial and political disinformation.

We deliberate in my apartment, which Beza pays for monthly. But, it is registered in my name. This is where we frequently meet a few times a week to cleanse ourselves of the wickedness planted in us by our upbringing and the mechanics of educational and social misconceptions. Yet, this cleansing is toppled by another type of sinfulness. One of the most human kinds.

After grabbing something to munch on, Beza asks, “Habibi, my love, are you finished?”

I give her a smile and say, “Himdallah.” Little does the word have anything to do with God’s graces, or thanking him for that matter. I give it to Beza as an illusory inducer. It works.

“Could you bring me a glass of water and some of those funky sour candies on your way? I’d really appreciate it… Thanks.” She says so swiftly, smoothly and cunningly that I have little time to muster up a manly protest.

“Inshallah habibti,” I softly spit back, using the my love “habibti” to draw out the God-willing “inshallah.”

She knows that her syntax and semantics routinely make me follow her whims and requests, especially after a sexcapade. After all, her matriarchal control is tolerated since she financially provides the rent.

But, my himdallah and inshallah habibti execute a summarized emotion. Good enough for the masses. Good enough as sweet lies for the greater sinners. “You’re the queen, my heaven on Earth, the trajectory of everything sensual. I’d do anything for you, my beautiful,” I tell her. I lay these words with confidence since I know my verbal pimping gets me everywhere with women. My knack that is infused with a flare of femininity-twists has not faded yet, and I know this is what women like Beza adore hearing, and love lying themselves into believing.

“How are your nephews?” She tries to change the subject after I give her a satisfying lie.

“Just great,” I superficially return. “Why do you ask?” Intrigued and inquisitive to know why Beza would dabble in my family affairs when we have already made a pact not to ever discuss our other lovers or associations. Beza seems determined today, though. Her money and superficial aura of power makes me obedient, because for once, I am being taken care of instead of caring for another. I do not mind one bit being Beza’s gigolo.

“Why are we with our lovers? And why to people we have come to despise? Do you believe this is what we women and men are made into accepting, and, thus, deceiving ourselves into believing? And behaving?” She marches as if giving a seminar.

I nod multiple times to comfort her insecurities. Her hypocrisy. No inshallahs or himdallahs are handed out.

“Is marriage and loving and being loved by one ever enough?”

Her philosophical queries start way too early in the day and way too late after sex for me to want to reciprocate. But she does manage to get a hold of my curiosity, and I do love being challenged. “Marriage is a failed institution conceived to falsely nurture human instinct into collective reasoning, all the while murdering pure individual human emotion and action,” spouts out of my mouth.

Beza’s eyes focus. Her mouth cracks a smile. Her eyebrows squeeze in.

“We are primitive in nature and barbaric in desire yet civilly cultivated to be the very robots we thought we’d have control over! I am a perfect example of that. I think all my work can set me into freedom that I thought existed, but it turns out that the idea of what I am chasing is imprisoned by the seed of everything I have not created nor ever wanted.”

My preaching sinks Beza further. Quicksands her deeper.

“Each woman I am with wishes that I would be stationed with her. Then, there is debt. It has molested my spirituality. Keeping up social appearances has also made me feel like a borrowed man.”

She attentively listens.

Then, I self-reflect. I have to have sex with other women like you to temporarily gratify and disillusion me away from the misery that life has made me addicted to.

She abruptly interrupts my chain of thought with, “Don’t feel so down, ya hayaati – my world. That is why we come together at this apartment. We privately explore what we can’t publicly show. Yes, we are prisoners of our own will and hypocrites of our own actions yet believers of our own fantasies. It’s the secrecy and taboo that make us hypocritical, yet the inherit seductiveness of performing what we all seek is the most human part of it all.”

This time my eyebrows are tightened, jaws relaxed, and attention heightened.

“Come back to bed and let’s confess our sins in another round of borrowed fantasy.” She pats the mattress with a gorgeous grin.

We do exactly that.

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Haitham Alsarraf is the author of Inshallah, Habibi and Invasion Occupation Awakening. Haitham, who teaches English at Kuwait University, holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English literature. He was the founder and editor of the Kuwait University literary magazine, Perceptions, and the online literary magazine, Kaleidoscope. His work has been internationally published in The Ofi Press, Sukoon, and Egg Barrel.