I was walking down Bohemian central, gazing at the different tattoo designs. As I tried to kill some time entering several tattoo shops , I ended up at this place which I once went to for a tarot card reading, then again visited with my pregnant sister, to have some numerology done. These two blocks brought some weird memories back. Targa and our late dinners, early cocktails before the drag queen pageant shows we used to attend. Lastly, my mom and the gay pride parade with all the chaos that took place, came to mind.

There was this guy that sells used shirts he got from Goodwill or some similar salvation army place. He then transforms them into master pieces. I really liked the idea. I was able to convince him to draw on two of my own tops. I told him I would still pay him the full price. I wanted my turquoise shirt which I had just bought from the Nordstrom flagship store, to have Bob Marley on it. I paused…. the second those words came out of my mouth, I remembered what my ex had once told me -about my new boyfriend who was crazy about Bob Marley and listened to him all the time- “anybody who is really into Bob Marley, must have a strong tie with weed.” Given the fact I have never smoked nor seen it in real life, I decided to go with Jimi Hendrix instead. He is from here after all. Although I have never seen his laser show, judging it would be too cheesy for me to bare. I told Kungo I would drop off the shirts the next morning.

Just as I was walking out of his tin like shop across from the old taco bell, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “I have been waiting for you, more than 40 minutes now.” I calmly replied: “ever heard of cell phones?” She then snaps at me: “I think the last place you need to be around, are tattoo parlors; you have enough ink as it is.” Yeah, yeah…. whatever. The stigma that comes along with it, being a whore and a slut or a cheap bitch. I don’t really care. I just accused that guy in my mind, of getting his shirts from the salvation army based on the way his shop looks and what he was dressed in himself.

We chose a place with outdoor seating and ordered our drinks. Sarah then pulls two books out of her bag and starts flipping through one of them. I was completely shocked! I am here for 2 days bitch! Yet you can’t wait to read your Christmas wrapped book later? Silly… I am looking for something to show you. It reminded me of you when I read it today. As she went on and mumbled a few complex sentences I did not really get, I interrupted her: “Why the hell is it wrapped in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer paper, might I ask?” “Well,” she said: “it was falling apart and places were closed to actually go and have it laminated. So, I took some gift wrap off a bottle of wine I had received for Christmas and taped it on my book.” Huh! I replied, “At least take it off before laminating it.” “The stupid guy didn’t.” as she tried to defend her self, “I thought there was no need to mention that he should, until he pulled it out and gave it to me. Only then, I realized he was a dumb ass.” I looked at her from the corner of my eye as I reached for the other book and added,”He works as a laminating guy at FedEx Kinko’s , how smart do you think he actually might be?”

The book was in a very bad condition, as she had read it over a dozen times. Yet only today, she decides this part of the book and what he describes, reminds her of me. It was a book written by a very famous yet controversial Saudi author, by the name Turki Al-Hamad. I have often heard of him from my dad and uncle. However, never have I had the chance to actually read any of his books. After I gathered my thoughts, I said: “well Sarah, that was so sweet of you, I am flattered that I would come to your mind while flipping through such pages. Moreover, pages from a book written by a person accused on several occasions of being an atheist.” She then bursts into laughter and says, “how I love it when you do your mu6aw3 mocking voice.”

I glanced at the other book in my hand, it was one of Ghazi Al-Gussabi‘s. Another famous Saudi genius, or so they speak. I lifted my eyes as I sipped on my drink and said: “Sarah… so you are now saying , I am a tattooed whore that does not believe in god? Rather than an atheist that has tattoos.” She laughs and asks, what difference does it really make? I guess she was right. It really doesn’t matter, once you are labeled the order doesn’t really matter. It hit me right then and there, might as well just go back to Kungo, tell him to put Bob Marley on my shirt and call it a day. Which, I didn’t end up doing.

By the end of our meal, Sarah has managed to convince me into easing my self towards Arabic reading. At the time, I have decided and already made up my mind. I went online the minute I got to my hotel room and continued on ordering two simple books; I have heard of from my mother, along with these two.

Till this moment, as I am editing this moldy June post from my hotel room in windy Chicago, I have not managed to crack them open. They are very intimidating.

PS Kungo is a name I have given the character. He might have mentioned that he was from the Kongo, not sure if that is even a country. However, he did mention the fact that I am most likely from Qatar, due to their love for diamonds. Note, I was only wearing my simple diamond stud earrings at the time. Thank god he did not cut my earlobes off, dance around a fire while eating them and then sell the diamonds.



~ by Purple Velvet on November 27, 2009.

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