Youssef Rakha: Sartre, My Father and Me

When my father’s body gave in at the age of 67, there was no cause of death as such. His health was undoubtedly poorly, he was addicted to a range of pharmaceuticals — but none of the vital organs had stopped functioning. Strangely, my mother and I saw it coming: there were tears on the day, long before we could have known it was happening. And when it did happen, the relief of no longer having to care for a prostrate depressive seemed to justify it. In the next few months there was oblivion. I had felt alienated from his dead body, I saw it wrapped in white cloth, in public, and I thought I was over the fact.

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Two from Freiburg by Yasmin Helal

 An Epiphany in the Land of Plenty

May 15, 2018

“An Epiphany in the Land of Plenty” by Yasmin Helal

Far away from home, I walked down a nameless street, in and out of nameless shops, buying products I never believed in. Weeks after, meaningful words have left me. Just when I needed them the most.

I’ve always been a talker, playing with words until they succumbed to my will. But now they have abandoned me. So did my healthy appetite and peaceful sleep.

Left to my own devices. I remain in the dark. Here I am where kids attend music classes after school. Drinking clean water from the tap, long after the sewage has left my kidneys. Eating clean food with a stomach of steel that can digest stones. Rolling my tobacco and counting my Euros.

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