Michael Daaboul. 25 y/o from Australia/Melbourne. Creative designer & writer.
Michael Daaboul. 25 y/o from Australia/Melbourne. Creative designer & writer.
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 of the truth. Everything was hidden away from you, everything that could ever have hurt you. It was kept far away, in hope that it could maybe protect you.
You had no way of knowing, rain without the dark clouds on a nice day. You have a feeling it would be coming around, but you knew the rain will 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 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.
Helping people notice that they’re alive, you try to protect what they don’t know in hope that they will survive.
You assist in their last chance for hope and you try to deliver their cause because they never cared about their own, but still you tried to help in the way you knew best.
You slowly realised how their hearts and minds found a way to protest. You turn around and you look at me; this is all you had to give and their expecting you with words that will somehow make them feel better.
You’re the one they will be relying on. You told them to please take all that you had to say and put it into action. You told them that you couldn’t help yourself and that you had always fallen so short.
You don’t have to take up all this concern, it’s hard to listen and act at the same time. When your time is lost and your pride is broken, the fire inside you does not burn and does not lie; you will know it will hide.
You turn around and look at me; this is all you had to give and their expecting you with words that will somehow make them feel better. You’re the one they will be relying on.
I’m just your friend, someone you can trust until the end. I will never pretend. I will help you before I begin to help myself and help the people I care for most. I will teach you that life is not right, life is not wrong, just sometimes like a badly written song.
You get your good days and the rest have gone by the count of three. Just like that, gone by the time you have counted to three. Always remember, you will be the one to save them all … you’re the one they will be relying on.
She had a face that was slowly dying, it was the only reason why she was crying. Makeup hides the world that she lived in and she never saw her troubles building.
When she moisturised her skin, illusion created the softness she was in. When she wakes up from this mess, she will realise life is not as she guessed.
She is stuck on thirty something, as time escapes from the sands of time, she has lost everything. She has never seen how wrong she had been.
She had tried to accept her situation but realises she is the cause of her own destruction. Wrinkles are the only thing left in her soul; everyone now can see what’s underneath.
No amount of makeup can hide you from your all time lows.
The sound of a flute tells the story, a sad ring that she will hear when she is forty; she still wears the makeup she used to wear at twenty.
When she wakes up from this mess, she realises life is not as she guessed. In life everything catches up to you, it’s a beautiful illusion she was subjected to.
From the same place she started to hate him, he couldn’t understand why, his heart is the place she used to live in, now it’s the place she will never be in.
When she wakes up from this mess, she realises life is not as she guessed.
She is stuck on thirty something, as time escapes from the sands of time, she has lost everything.
Now she has never seen how wrong she had been. She had tried to accept her situation but realises she is the cause of her own destruction.
Her tiny heart is beating, it’s barely breathing. It’s suffocating in blood; it’s feeling the weakness inside, like a flood that is drowning her.
The clock is ticking, she is fading pretty fast. The only person is Death by her lonely side.
She is running pretty fast, but she is falling behind. She is finishing last. The weakness is slowly killing her, her heart is barely breathing.
It came without a warning; it was just waiting to attack her heart. She found it hard to remember, that saying about the calm before the torture.
That night in December her name was picked from fate’s short hand and Death was gladly to be the only person by her side. Her heart is barely even beating, but Death is still waiting.
Death is always there, until she fades to the end, as her memories are on time, “Not a single friend to call mine”, she recalled.
Her heart closed its eyes; it blinked for the last time, that familiar irregular beat, that dear girl of mine.
Her life has gone and has taken what little she had left for a little ride.
Death had its way, she ran so fast to end up last. She was so tired; she kept on running … even in death she was still suffering.
That’s all she ever did in her life, because she didn’t want to die. She just ran and held hope by the hand.
Her heart was barely breathing, with her own blood suffocating her that stopped it from beating.
Pages often hide between the binds of books. They can’t move, although, it is not like they have anywhere else to go.
Pages are stuck and cannot afford the price of freedom, even though pages don’t know what freedom feels like. But they have read about freedom in books that don’t end. They have heard of books that never end and books that haven’t got binds.
One day, a page fell out of a book. A rather old book that no one reads anymore, the type of books dust likes to keep warm in places no one knows exists.
The page glided over the air in hope of finding those books that never end. It glided until no more wind was present enough for it to move. The page cried the word freedom in its last attempt to feel what it had read long ago in a time where dust wasn’t the page’s friend.
As the page lied quietly in the midst of an empty space, in a place where no one looks anymore, dust came wandering by.
“Are you lost, page?”
The page replied, “I’m trying to find freedom …”
“You won’t find freedom here.”
“What do you mean?”
“Freedom is a place that no longer visits.”
“But, I have read in books that never end that freedom does exist.”
“Those books never end, although, they always do.”
“What do you mean?”
“What was once there isn’t anymore. Books that don’t end are when pages like you are read constantly and endlessly.”
“You mean the popular books?”
“Yes, those books are endless …”
“No one reads me anymore?”
“No one reads you anymore because no one wanted to read you or better yet, I don’t think they could reach. You were placed in here, where no one looks, on the highest shelf even the ladder is too short to greet you, page. The place everyone has forgotten, away from the popular books.”
“But you haven’t forgotten us?”
“I am dust; I don’t know how to read. I probably could, not like I ever want to anyway.”
“It’s not my job. I keep things that no one wants or uses anymore warm. Things no one uses or needs anymore get lonely and cold.”
“But, you could still read us though!”
“I could, but that would mean you would be used again and I can’t let that happen. You can’t be read.”
“Because it means I wouldn’t exist anymore …”
Every morning I woke up to the songs sung by birds that lived in the tree next door.
I had always wondered if birds sung in a language other birds could understand, but even if I couldn’t understand the language, it had a smoothing sort of melody to it. The tune relaxed my body.
I wouldn’t get annoyed like my neighbours did. They told me how much they hated the birds that lived in the tree next door. They would label the singing as dreadful noise. I guess their light sleepers or they just like the silence; they’re pretty old and bitter. I don’t want to be like them when I grow old.
I couldn’t help but notice how cheerful the sound the birds made. It was like they were happy. It made me smile in the mornings; it was always such a great start to the day. I had always wondered if birds showed emotion or felt it at the very least. They just sounded so glad to see the morning greet them in such a spectacular fashion to be merely instinct.
I have been told that animals couldn’t understand emotion, maybe they don’t, I’m not so sure.
I woke up one morning much later than I usually wake up, something felt a little different. I heard silence, the type of silence that old, bitter people hear. You don’t usually hear that when you live next to birds. Well, these particular singing birds. I thought, all birds sing.
I made my way outside; I thought I should visit the birds that lived in the tree next door.
I looked up to see the birds, but one was lying on the tree branch. The other bird was close by the other bird’s side. It seemed sad. It might have died, I don’t know. I stayed there for hours. The Sun was close to setting, it was getting late. No bird made any movement, but one was clearly alive. She was alive. Apparently, it was all instinct it seemed. The bird didn’t know he died, but it just laid there with him … not moving.
I’m not a morning person anymore, because I realised that she would never sing again without him.
When the person you love dies, in your dreams, all you remember is their smile.
You once again feel like you belong right after you have moved on four years ago. You might have let go, but your mind still holds on. You try so hard to stop the many thoughts that flood during the time of sleep where it’s your only time to rest in an eight hour day of full time work, seven days a week.
You work on the weekends just to make ends meet that are so tightly trying to escape you from living comfortably. Your mind will not sleep because it is time for thoughts.
You suffer from insomnia and the doctor and your psychologist couldn’t understand why, you have perfect health. Your mind never had the time during the day to talk to you about how it feels and what it desires. It gets lonely and tries in the only way it knows how to, through dreams.
You have trouble sleeping; your thoughts become your dreams. Your mind starts to dream, that smile you lost that has made you belong for years. You watch along, as your mind takes you through a journey you have lived before. You never knew how amazing it was until life allowed it to slip through your fingers.
Overwhelmed with emotion that transforms your body into a cave of defined meanings for feelings, you watch endlessly focusing on the details, the detail of that smile. They had always smiled this way, the same way you were too busy to notice how you made them feel, until they had no more time left. You had been reminded in dreams that you dream through thoughts, the smile your mind had been searching for.
You don’t work weekends anymore because you take that time to dream of the smile you once had, the smile that made you feel like you belonged for all those years.
The smile that took you a lifetime to find, the smile that you fear will never find again and the only smile to be reminded of, in your dreams.