Life begins

Rachel Dawes: Wait! You could die. At least tell me your name.
Bruce Wayne: …It’s not who I am underneath… but what I *do*… that defines me.

~ Batman begins (film) 2005

While the answer to the question of who one really is might differ over time (for example I used to be a totally different person only 2 years ago), the answers to the questions about one’s origins will always be the same. It’s true that our origins gravely affect our identity, but most of what’s left of them is merely memories in our minds. And as we go through life, more memories and knowledge accumulate which may make us make sense of our previous memories and selves in very unprecedented ways.

I was born in 1989 in a rich Arabic gulf country to where my parents had moved from their Arabic country of birth to hold posts as physicians with very rewarding incomes.  They had the simple dream which they shared with the similarly newly wedded couples from the middle-class of their generation: to start a small family, save enough money to secure their children’s life and their own, then return back to their home town to enjoy the fruit of their labor and grow old. The first places I remember are a house – a hospital – a daycare – a school – and few other places of the beautiful -as far as I remember- town in which my life started.

The house: I remember the house consisting of two stories; the bottom had the kitchen -where a phone hung on the wall, a bathroom, a reception, a room (perhaps a bedroom), and a tiny storage room. It also had the entrance to a very small garden that was limited by a fence separating ours from our neighbors’. The top floor had my bedroom (which I shared with my younger sibling), my parents’ bedroom, probably another bathroom and another room which I can’t quite remember. It seemed as if the floors of the whole house were almost entirely covered with a beige smooth fitted carpet, probably even the stairs which connected both floors. I remember that there was a small white fence installed to block the stairs in order to prevent us, as children, from using them and falling down. Strangely, I don’t quite remember any of the toys which I played with, but I have a painful memory concerning a pet -or so I thought it was. It was a rabbit which was so cute and with which I remember spending lots of time. To my shock and dismay, I returned home one day to find that they had had it slaughtered to have it cooked for lunch. You can imagine how this incident can traumatize a little child – yes I know: they weren’t the brightest of parents. Another powerful memory that I have is of my little brother -a toddler back then- using one of my mother’s bobby pins to explore an electric socket. As soon as he entered the pin in one of the holes, an explosion happened (probably a short-circuit that affected house’s circuit-breaker) and my brother burst into tears. My mom rushed to check if he was ok. He was fortunately unaffected -again another example of parental genius.

The hospital: was a large and wonderful hospital that belonged to the military of the gulf country. It had electric glass doors on its entrance -which fascinated me as a child- and a shiny ceramic floor that reflected its cleanness. It was where my father worked along with other foreign staff from all around the world. I remember visiting it on a few occasions. Once was for a vaccination which I was terrified from, so I was promised a toy -from a small toy-store that existed on the hospital’s premise probably for similar situations. Other visits were probably better, as they seemed to be for nothing more than regular check-ups. I’m not really sure of this, but I remember the hospital being across the street from my daycare, separated by a large beautiful grass lawn on the daycare’s side of the street, its boundaries being the daycare itself. If that’s true, then it would explain why I remember going to the hospital so much; probably just so my dad would take me home after work.

To be continued ..

One response to “Life begins

  1. Pingback: The personality factory (part 1) | A Universe from Words

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