The Were-Idea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

I wrote this in Arabic, then rendered into English mostly using Google Translate.

It is said that true attraction is not about the good-looking person but the good-thinking person. But when I was in the prime of my youth, I objected to this saying. Do I mean I was superficial? Quite the contrary! I objected on a different basis, that a person constitutes nothing but a vessel for ideas. Meanwhile, the most attractive ideas steer clear of any human vessels. This is how I spent a year or two on the search for an attractive idea that did not tie itself down to any mind.

One day I was walking in the street when I caught “sight” of her .. For a fleeting moment I feared she was a theory or a concept, but as soon as I crossed the street to approach her, I realized that she was indeed an idea .. the idea of my dreams! I almost struck up a conversation to ask for her phone number, but I stopped myself in the light of the fact that independent ideas like her never respond to the advances of mere minds, as everyone knows. Instead, I let her notice me and kept walking like some big shot. “No doubt she will follow me,” I thought. 

But when I got to Hyde Park, I looked behind me and found no trace of that gorgeous idea. "Oh, no!" I exclaimed. "I’ve lost her!" Looking around I found only human pedestrians. How ugly. So I took off running up the stairs to the CTA station to get an overhead view. I was panting and my face was pouring sweat, when I ran around the corner and - bam! - I collided with someone and we fell to the ground together.

I know, I know..You’ve heard this story a million times: boy meets idea, boy loses idea, boy gets idea.. I will not overload you with sappy details from the blossoming of our romance. Let's speed up the tape a little.

[Four years later]

I put the car window down and felt the spring breeze combing my hair. When I arrived at the nursery to pick up my son, I chatted a little with the director of the nursery.

"Usually children resemble one of their parents more, but what surprises me about your son is that he looks like both of you!" the director remarked. "He inherited your eyes but has the nose and smile of his mother. What a handsome boy." She tousled with my son's hair, then we said goodbye.

We were on the way home when my son blurted out: "Papa, will you die someday?" I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw my son's furrowed eyebrows.

I hesitated a little. "Yes, my dear, I will die. But don’t worry, I’m in good health ... God willing, this will not happen anytime soon. And on top of that--"

My son interrupted me: "What about Mama, will she die too?"

"...No, Mama is an idea and ideas are all timeless."

"..And me?"

"My darling, you are mixed and that makes you very special.. Were-ideas like you are not immortal, but often live to around one thousand seven hundred years. That’s a very long time, long enough to achieve marvelous things beyond my wildest dreams and God willing start a family of your own.."

"Papa, will I marry an idea or a person? Or a wearied.. wiried ... were-idea?"

His attempts to say the word drew a smile on my face. By this time we were arriving home. "You can marry whoever you love, whoever they are."

We got out of the car and went to the backyard to play. After my wife got home from work, we all sat on the lawn, drank apple cider and watched the sun set behind the distant hills. Then we lit a candle and I put my arms around my son and his mother while she recounted one of her best memories from the pre-Cambrian era.


Submitted: March 08, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Indran. All rights reserved.

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