Today there will be no drinking. There will be no talking about drinking. Hell, there won’t even be talk about writing.

Today is about telling incidents – stories that mark each and every one of us.

Incidents are what happen to us. Some of them we control, others control us.

It could be being late for your job at the office. It could be receiving sexy pictures of a girl you like on your phone.

It could be turning on the tv and listening to the news or watching the big sports game.

It could be drinking.

There are ways for the heart to know what it wants and point us in the right direction, the same way butterflies don’t need to see their wings to know all they need to do is flap them to fly.

There are a lot of dirty dishes in my sink. My small sink located in my big house. A house that feels empty even when I am in it. There haven’t been many incidents going on here lately. There haven’t been much happenings. Just quiet whispers from the occasional winds entering through my bedroom window.

There are a couple of dead roaches in my sink. There are a couple of bees fucking each other on the kitchen window.

There are noises outside, noises embedded in the natural air of the outside world. Filthy cats feeding their kitten on the sidewalk. Dogs chasing a ball and playing with their owners.

Engineers working in a firm or a big power plant. Corrupt governments thinking of new schemes to steal from their people.

Fighter jet planes bombing some arab country. A man living in Lebanon sending letters to his girlfriend in France.

Someone who discovered they won the lottery.

No, this isn’t a poor man reciting his inner thoughts. These aren’t the makings of a depression or the flooding of a memory. This isn’t a conscience running wild or a mind that has gone loose and become uncontrollable.

We are surrounded by incidents. Incidents that somehow force us to ask ourselves what makes us unique and stand out in this world.

If you take away your job, your savings, your title today, what are you left with? What are you? What do you become? If a writer can’t write does it mean he’s not a writer?

These are alarming questions we don’t pay enough attention to. We’re little hamsters that are caught up inside the wheel and are too busy to notice it. We turn and turn inside it and hope that occasionally someone checks up on us and refills our water.

That’s what we contend ourselves with. That’s as much space as we allow ourselves. That good-feel feeling of security and control inhabits us and limits us from going a step further. It limits us from climbing the mountain and seeing what’s on the other side.

Well, when it’s time for us to leave this place, when it’s time for us to go, nobody will remember the hours we spent behind an office desk. No one will remember how we spent that year’s Valentines’ day or how many cars we had parked in our garage.

So climb the goddamn mountain. Learn to live by incidents. Some of them will be unique. Some of them will be recurrent. But all of them will be lessons of growth.

Growth is a factor which is often overlooked. When we don’t grow, we don’t evolve and we stay stuck inside the same old box. If our tastes don’t change – if we are stuck chasing the same person for years and years and falling for them like the first time – then we never allow ourselves room to grow.

And not growing is the deadliest mistake we can make. It is a sin against ourselves and a bitter regret that will fill our cup once we hit eighty and are rocking alone in a wooden chair on the porch while watching the sunset.

There are incidents outside. There is a world filled with them. There are parties and late-night conversations and strange meet-ups at coffee shops.

There are incidents inside, like drinking alone or writing until your soul’s satisfied or dancing to a symphony you like.

What matters is listening to them, hearing them intently and being able to perceive them closely.

Right now there are two incidents surrounding me in this house: the bottle and the writing machine. They are both calling, buzzing, trying to speak to me. but I promised to stay true to my word today and disobey them – shun their vile temptations for something better.

There’s the bed calling. How I’d like to crawl under the sheets and call it a day. Maybe I’ll hear other voices in the dream world, better and more suitable voices to be answered.

Sometimes we only see what we truly wish to see (or what we are afraid of admitting we’d like to see) in our dreams.


Be sure to check out my debut novel, A Road Away From Home, available on Amazon Kindle for 2.99$ and now in hard copy.

A Road Away From Home – Hanna Abi Akl


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