Michael Daaboul. 26 y/o from Australia/Melbourne. Creative/Digital Designer & Writer.
Michael Daaboul. 26 y/o from Australia/Melbourne. Creative/Digital Designer & Writer.
Don’t forget words when words never seem to forget you.
When you need to write a letter, the words will lay bare on paper.
When you’re called to give a speech, words will entertain your audience.
When remembering your friend who has passed away on their anniversary, words will fill your heart.
You may not be a wordsmith, you may not be a wandering poet, and you don’t really need to be anything at all to use words.
You don’t need to be educated; you don’t need to be famous to change the world with an ink drop of a pen or multiple presses on a keyboard.
You don’t need a reason to make someone smile with your words. You can take them to worlds that don’t exist. You can create what isn’t there and you can climb a ladder to imaginary heights.
If you’re finding it difficult to find words, you don’t need to worry, if you don’t forget them, the words will find you.
If you remember me, I won’t be far away.
If you create the person that I used to be inside of your mind, I will always live there, I will always exist.
Take an old washed out vintage picture of my smiling portrait and remember what it felt like, let the nostalgia consume and surround your body. I might be gone and I know it has been a long time now, but that doesn’t mean I’m gone from your memory.
Walk outside where the tall trees watch over you and dream. There will be no one there but a vast network of green grass falling under the hills that kiss the horizon.
It’s a beautiful day, no clouds in sight and no one is around. For a moment, forget that you’re mortal and hold me for just one more time. If the past comes rushing by, if the world started to rewind and if nostalgia has invaded your consciousness, take a deep breath and float towards the sky.
You won’t know what’s going on, neither do I, but you will be by my side and time, time will hold you still.
And for a moment, you forgot you were mortal and felt a piece paradise overwhelm you. It’s what you always wanted, to see those that have moved on, to go back into the past and live again.
The aching heart moves on, but it doesn’t want to. There’s no choice, we move forward. From time to time you will look back and see if someone is looking back at you while you’re walking away. Whoever you want it to be. Disappointment sweeps over you.
I’m not here anymore, I have gone. You can remember, but I can’t promise I will as you will fade away and it will feel as if we had never met.
This vision is innocent and youthful, but truth be told, this will only happen when you’re old and taking the last gasps of life before you sleep again. You will remember when you were in your twenties, the best time of your life where you contemplated the rest of your life and felt indestructible. How the time has flown by.
If you remember me, I won’t be far away. Just before you sleep, remember what it feels like to long for something that has past and you will be captured inside the nostalgia forever.
I work every minute of every day and I come home when the Sun has subsided. I leave my dog outside and he waits for me in the same spot I left him in.
He looks at me as I leave with his tail swaying from side to side and his mouth open with his tongue hanging. His eyes light up with every shadow that’s crossing the footpath. When he knows it’s not me a part of him sinks to the bottom of his stomach.
He waits there the whole day while the hours continue to pass him by. I may not come home today, but he waits anyway. He doesn’t chew on the bone I left for him and he doesn’t chase his tail.
When I do arrive home, I can see his eyes water more than usual. He can’t speak but the look on his face and the emotion in his eyes speaks a thousand languages.
Is it worth what a writer gives away?
Is what the writer writes enough to be exposed?
Undressing his mind and surrendering the words the only way a writer can escape?
Escape is needed.
Escaping from reality and into the depths of your mind will give you enough shelter until you have bled it out of ideas and imaginative plot twists. After all of that, is what you write even worth it? Is it worth being naked for, out there for the world to read? Is it worth to let strangers in?
That’s what a writer does, sends an invitation to the world with the name field left blank. For a blank mind is what a writer wants to allow room for what he has to say, what the writer might give away.
After you leave, your mind will be painted with a trillion different pictures all made up of words and bringing you closer to that elusive DNA strand that makes up your imagination.
Did you notice what’s in a number? Behind every closed door is a lock to a problem we have thrown away the keys for.
In searching for this key, we become powerless.
In 2010, 285 million people have type 2 diabetes worldwide.
More than 121 million people suffer from depression worldwide
64 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worldwide in 2004. By 2030, it is estimated to be the fourth leading cause of death worldwide due to an increase of people smoking. 3 million people died of COPD in 2005.
It’s estimated 57 million people die a year.
26.6 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease in 2006.
10.8 million people are diagnosed with cancer per year and 6.7 million die from it.
8.8 million new cases of tuberculosis and 1.5 million deaths in 2010 worldwide.
7.6 million children under five years of age died in 2010 worldwide. That’s 21,000 children each day and 900 children every hour.
7.25 million people died of heart disease in 2008.
6.15 million people died from a stroke in 2008.
3.46 million people died of lower respiratory tract infection worldwide in 2008.
Multiple sclerosis affects 2.5 million people worldwide. In the United States, one person is diagnosed every hour.
Alcohol claims 2.5 million people each year.
1.78 million people died from HIV/AIDS in 2008. In 2010, 34 million people have AIDS worldwide.
1.39 million people died from lung cancer in 2008. 1.37 million people die every year from lung cancer.
Tobacco is a major cause of heart disease, lung disease and lung cancer. Tabacco is responsible for the death of one in 10 adults worldwide. Tobacco is a hidden statistic.
In 2008, 99% of children under five years of age who died were from low to middle income countries.
1.21 million people died from road traffic accidents in 2008.
Suicide takes the life of one million people every year and an estimated 20 million attempted suicides every year worldwide.
520,00 people were murdered in 2000 worldwide.
There’s 250,000 cases of rape reported annually that covers 65 countries.
It’s hard to notice when the window looking outside has a rainbow with no end. It’s hard to see the road back when the mist covers your tracks. There’s an empty seat here for you to notice that when the rain drops and hits the ground, to an ant, it’s a tidal wave of dreams never realised. And when the lighting hits on a rainy day, you will question that you thought the umbrella will save you from the fall. But you sing the chorus and you’ll wait for Christmas, but you know your family isn’t coming home. You put your dad’s old record of Elvis and listen to his sadness and by the time the song ends, you’ll see by all these numbers that you’re likely to be covered in darkness. In the night of despair, you wonder how your fear could be so heartless.
When did we become so helpless?
Fate is uncontrollable.
Don’t believe in fate, however, the concept expresses enough truth to warrant its place in existence.
Lying in bed with the lights off, hands behind your head and eyes wide open with the ceiling welcoming your attention. What goes through your mind? Is there a sense of appreciation in pondering life’s many enigmas? It’s your quiet time.
Insecurities become apparent as they have always been; never clouded. Not noticing them for a while as the feeling of knowing is enough for you to stop going.
Stop caring? You understand and you’re certain everyone else stares at their ceiling; with this assumption relief gently passes over your chest.
It’s not so different.
We often believe we’re walking away from problems, but we forget how our problems are holding our hands. Problems don’t believe in an end or a beginning, they have always existed in the dark. Questioning their origin, questioning like if a God exists. A delicate system made by rules associated with no logical answer.
Answers, that’s a thirst worth craving for, a lusting divine so elusive, oblivion will enclose our curiosity in due time. Best to wait for hope, but it’s not coming.
Human is what we are, a process, rules and principles governed by time and aging. Once this concept is understood entirely, a moment of obsolete is born.
The system whispers simulated emotions and feelings into your ear. It lingers while you understand not understanding this moment and for that moment to exist in something that didn’t exist.
If you’re overwhelmed with this emotion, your reaction speaks in actions. The tear’s breath chokes on its own moist; it’s that point where you cry and feel in the deepest part of your throat that something is embracing the loss. In that moment, it’s a matter of minutes before they have all gone.
It’s over, is it really over?
Bringing the camera back to you lying on your bed, powerless, you had it, it slipped, you knew it and you don’t know it.
All it takes is one blink of an eye and everything is gone, within a second is an eternity if you want it to last that long. There’s no reason, no explanation, it is what it is. The cycle continues with you lying on your bed with that tear falling and stopping, falling and stopping and eventually, suddenly, it moves swiftly past your cheek.
You realise, this experience will happen again in reality and in your dreams.
That’s the way it is. It’s not going to change, before you existed and in the darkness of your life, this is where you will be for the rest of your timeless existence.
If you were able to leave work tomorrow with a year’s salary included, what would you do? That might be too much freedom for some, maybe, not enough freedom for others. If you had one year before you had to go back to the routine of getting up the same time everyday, would you use it wisely?
If you haven’t been lucky enough to fall in love, take the time to look around and see if your smile might be melting the hearts of those that are around you.
Jump on a plane and leave to an unknown destination. Fly through the clouds and never look back. Travel around the world and go to places you have always dreamed of. You might not have had the chance when you were a little younger, but time isn’t making any exceptions, you have the opportunity, take it with both hands.
Understand the world in another language. Are you a poet inside? Maybe this could be your plan of attack for falling in love. Write a poem, if it doesn’t succeed in English, try writing it in French. If that fails, well, maybe he or she might think you’re cute enough for trying and you just might earn yourself a date. Watch the stars on a clear, summer’s night.
Love the water? Ride the waves. Set foot and explore the ocean with the cool breeze pushing gently behind your head with your eyes closed. The Sun rises to greet you as the calm of the water welcomes your presence to thank you for visiting from so far away. The water appreciates your company; something you thought was rare in this world.
If you have always contemplated about getting married, no need to wait anymore. Take a lengthy honeymoon away from the rest of the world. Enjoy your company and let reality drift off on to the offset of your imagination.
When you have ran out of ideas, think about exploring the hidden alleyways of your city. Then think about running away to other cities around the world and dine in exotic restaurants. It might be foreign, but the adventure will excite you, even making you feel alive for the first time since your memory could remember.
The only problem with all this is, once the year ends, you wouldn’t want to go back to work again. Unfortunately, as much as escape seems like an attractive alternative, at least you would have broken the routine. After all, that’s the main message to this story, it might be something that stays in your dreams, but it doesn’t have to.
As published in #1 of QueSt newsletter on March 2011.
- Michael Daaboul
I watched your lips move as you told me about how you were all alone. You told me that there was no other way, as your tears fell down from your eyes. Your heart did break in two; your thoughts were so confused.
Like a hurricane, it hits somewhere near home, it will not leave you alone. Like a hurricane, it has its own way.
It was not your fault. You did not know the truth. Everything was hidden away from you, everything that could have ever hurt you. It was kept far away, in hope that it could maybe protect you.
You had no way of knowing, like rain without the dark clouds on a nice day. You had a feeling it would be coming around, but you knew the rain would always fall.
You slowly forget over the years what made you like this. You kind of realised that nothing in this life loved you.
Joking about fate and the invisible pen that wrote your path used to stab your chest, you were just sick of losing.
It’s a cold feeling this pain, the icy wind blows warm air in comparison, but in darkness your aches can see.
Wishing I can turn your way, this highway is congested and it’s impossible to take you far away.
You wanted to play a game, but not the way life played you, like a hurricane, it had its own way.
By yourself at home
They attacked you
And left you all alone
A picture stuck inside of my head, a girl with a sad smile, her mouth moved and she said, "I have walked for many miles, this life, my whole life walking in denial. There has been little to no opportunities to hold someone or to feel like someone cared."
At times we want to find redemption in isolation but we are closing off the world. Sometimes running away and keeping a fair distance from the rest of humanity sounds too complicated to become a creative exception. But you still find yourself obligated to find a certain solution so you don’t have to suffer from confusion.
It hurts too much, this pain, all too familiar. So, you tell yourself, "How do I set myself free?"
As you walk alone in this world, with all these illusions, you find it hard to see.
Slowly fighting for perfection, everything you tried to do was lost, nothing came to you and when it did, it was at great cost.
You asked for help and you offered them your hand, but you soon realised you received nothing but neglect. Your hand retreats in an instant as if you touched the burning stove without knowing it had been on for hours.
Would you feel better if you just wrote them a letter?
At times you wandered in your maze of isolation. You tried closing off the world, but that didn’t keep you away from humanity. It is complicated and you realised you were not the exception. You weren’t that creative to find a solution, but you felt obligated to feel the confusion.
Would you feel better if you were by her side? You know, together?
Would you give her a helping hand? You hear this faint voice, "Don’t forget her."
Her head held high, with so much to cry as the tears drowned her view, her hope about to die.
Do you feel better? She feels so much better.
This letter never received, it was stuck between the Sun’s burning stare. Tears have dried up and she didn’t feel any better from all this crying.
Don’t forget her, you should have been together.
I’m waiting for you on top of this mountain every time the night arrives.
I watch stars that go by, some of which have been dead for a long while, but the stars’ light have finally made the trip to Earth to say hello for the last time.
I match the stars to form a picture of you, but the night disappears before I can finish.
I go home when I hear the birds sing, that means I should get back, but I do it all over again until I find you.
I don’t know what happened to you, without a hint to go by and no reason for a goodbye.
I decided to do what I knew best and wait on top of this mountain, your favourite place on Earth, where we used to match the stars to form portraits of you and I.
I’m standing on top of a car as the Sun is about to rise. I feel a cool breeze that pushes right through.
The waves of the ocean climb the rocks high enough to catch my eyes. The waves, like hands, reach out.
The wind allows me to enjoy this moment before it bends the branches on the trees. I spread my arms out like an eagle, for a moment, I feel like I have wings. Closing eyes in hope the wind has similar thoughts. I am disappointed I can’t fly. I can’t reach the sky but that didn’t matter. It was that calm thought that sent my mind soaring, a sense of being free, that feeling of being me.
The Sun rises and the warmth is welcoming, the wind grabs hold of my hand as I fall, the wind whispers, "Hold on."
They call me Bill.
I’m like everyone else, walking as the world stood still. Always satisfied; my life made up of simple things.
They told them to multiply, to fuel human hunger. Most were left staring at the sky.
Everyone forced into plunder. A system ruled by shadows.
A kingdom forgotten and never knowing how it slipped by. They couldn’t make decisions, they never could. Inability to use such functions of the human brain exploded their comprehension.
“I’m Bill; I’m like everyone else until I stopped walking and noticed what surrounded me.”
“I’m Frank; I’m like everyone else. I stopped breathing when I sank. Have you met my friend Bill? Apparently he stood still.”
Female: What are you talking about?
Bill/Frank: What happened?
Female: Are you feeling okay?
Bill/Frank: Where is…
Female: Eat your dinner.
Bill/Frank: What happened?
“They call me Bill, hello everyone; I suffered from amnesia from an accident. They said I did it for the thrill.”
"What did I do?"
Female: Today we have Bill and Frank joining us. Please make them feel welcomed.
Applause vibrates the hollow room.
“Hi, they call me Frank, I suffer from a damaged heart, and they said it’s failing. It’s getting broken. I can’t repair it you see; I don’t have that much money in the bank. They said it’s going to be expensive to fix a heart.”
Female: Who is she?
Bill/Frank: She was just here…
Female: You must be dreaming! You just woke up!
Bill/Frank: They caught me…
Female: Who are 'they?'
Bill/Frank: They fell from the sky…
"Hi there, they call me Life, hello world. I was like Bill and Frank, but, unlike them, I couldn’t control my own way. Everything fell down when I tried to turn things around. They found out they were part of something perfectly designed, they couldn’t turn anything around…"
Bill couldn’t remember what his Mum’s name was after the accident she abandoned him. The amnesia removed all traces of her.
Frank didn’t know his wife divorced him; he is in the United States trying to find treatment for his heart condition.
Bill worked for average pay
Frank didn’t know what to say
Bill stood still
For this reason he always went to the bank
To try and fix something that was broken
With money he couldn’t find
He slowly declined
Bill was on average pay
Frank just didn’t know what to say anymore
Bill just couldn’t pay anymore
Frank’s emotions just couldn’t feel anymore
"Hi, I’m Bill’s Mum and Frank’s wife, I never really spoke to Bill or Frank after the incidents, Life told me to swear to keep a promise in return that one day everything will be fair. That’s what Life said, I swear, that’s what they all said."
"Life was not fair."
It’s always the little things that no one gets to see.
When you have run out of credit you drive down to the petrol station in your boxers to recharge your mobile phone to send a happy birthday message just before it hits midnight.
You don’t have a Facebook account to send a message because you only keep in contact with your close friends only. You have no desire to add everyone you meet in the world in the constant quest of achieving a high friend score or to advertise where you have checked in as if to please your covetous stalkers. You would rather enjoy where you are with your company rather than taking out your phone to see the latest status updates from people you don’t care about.
You enjoy a moment to yourself amused at the thought of wishing you had an account to check in to the toilet and realise it’s not all that ridiculous when the social network isn’t abused.
It might be a last minute gift that you go out in your pyjamas to the mall where you spend hours without having breakfast to find something special for her. You’re lightheaded and people are looking at you like you’re a bum off the streets and make awkward looking faces at you as if you’re a complex Rubik’s Cube and can’t quite figure it out. You haven’t shaved, you’re frustrated and you make a little scene. This time the security guards have an awkward look on their faces and their hands are close to their two-way radios hinting for backup in case you turn into the Hulk. You’re aware of this, you start to calm down and from the corners of your eyes, you find the most ideal present.
You walk up to the counter and you open your wallet. The employee at the checkout sees a few $100 notes in there and starts to think you’re a criminal that has mugged a few people on your way to the store. You can’t possibly have that much money if you wear those clothes and haven’t shaved.
You realise the employee’s hesitation and wonder if success is measured in what you wear in public or how well groomed you are.
Surviving your encounter at the mall, a few hours have passed with enough time to wear your nice shirt, clean pair of jeans and you didn’t forget to shave.
You make it to the birthday party and you don’t tell her what has happened. You’re exhausted, you just say you had a busy day at work, she will smile and she will never know what extent you went through to make it perfect for her and that you discovered impressions is all about how good you look.
You wanted to have it all, just like the rest. You wanted to feel the emotion of having everything and a sense of completion for once in your life, when it feels like a constant occurrence for everyone else.
You just wanted to feel what it would be like to have it all, before you die.
Are you being greedy? Or is it too much to ask for?
Your heart cries at night, it’s usually happy when there’s light. You can feel it beating so hard it hurts your chest and you feel like there are fingers crawling down your throat.
It’s alright if no one cares, you just need to find a place where you can rest. When you sleep, you dream and all of your worries seem to go away. When your eyes are closed, you go into another world. It’s nice there, but blinded by the fact that it’s the same world when you’re awake.
There are things in life that we’re not supposed to know, going along on your own; you never seem to find anyone to call in your empty contacts list on your mobile phone.
Looking back from start to the end, you realise, it wouldn’t have been so bad, if you had someone to rely on instead, or even a friend.