Monday, June 09, 2008

The Secret Nail (1)

That was the place where dreams created, insisted, ballooned and sometimes, fearfully more than comforting exploded.
There, where once a magic exerted in love and good intention upon a big nail dug deep into a secret spot.

Now long forgotten as the one who had done that was forgotten too, except when mentioned from time to time with that mixture of owe, hesitant love and a generous punch of respect.Sometimes I thought that Papil might have dug it deep into earth intentionally, an advanced wisdom compeled him to channel the "Refugio" the war shelter, and ordering the erecting of the high famous wall that surrounded and protected Wassaia from whatever he had feared.It was then presumably that the guardian nail idea struck his futuristic mind. Maybe it is still there, that legendary nail, rusted but well integrated with Papil's bones, my great aunts whispers, secret songs and wasted lives in deep Berka's earth.

Seeing the place every morning in my way to work, standing there, my city circling around and nobody daring to demolish its remains. a stubborn tooth in a caved bare mouth, defying time's unforeseen possibilities,
Seeing it like thus became an urgent need in which to comfort my night dreams which repetition became like a boring B/K old movie, became a sort of umbilical attention, an unconscious exercise!
In thee I always need be rid of my nightmarish dreams.
Thus goes my daily self-maintenance.
The family seniors told me when I had bored them with my questions, that the main known entrance to the Refugio was inside my mother's uncle courtyard .the Marqui.
The old Refugio, where they used to hide during air raids,when hearing the raid sirens wailing constantly announcing the approaching of the Allied bombers.
The truth was otherwise as I discovered later deep inside my mother's kens cluttered memories, that it was deaf and mute Mabrouka, one of my mother's great aunts, who was then their war radar, or human sensor, for she always wail and box her flat chest hysterically, sensing the approaching bombers vibrations in her heart. According to Ihsan, my eldest uncle, they had never doubted her gift, thus scurrying in fear to the shelter accordingly. Later I came to understand that gift, which was and still been inherited among the serial of aunts with different concentrations.
They described to me the place with its rooms in which they had huddled many, never counted times, waiting for clearance signals to go out.. There were many rooms chiseled inch by inch patiently into the" jbela", a privy, a kitchen, a barn for the horses, and more, lined in both sides of a long dim corridor, leading along a darkened distance away to another secret emergency exit.
More cajoling questions .They believe that the secret exit vanished, after its surrounding area avalanched from Papil's left hand man: Bou Shagour's excessive stone chiseling in a soft spot.
On the other hand, maybe it was a fake story , just to conceal the nail from his great grand children's excavating thoughts in the disturbed future to come!
Papil, Papil! How clever of you!

Laila neihoum

To be continued